As retail giants compete to advance their products, Adidas is looking to the future of green fashion. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their carbon footprints, leading to more eco-friendly choices when it comes to retail shopping. Adidas is meeting consumers in the middle with their newest addition to their shoe line: the Stella Stan Smith shoe.
To create this design, Adidas worked with Stella McCartney. Being a lifelong vegetarian, McCartney was gifted a special pair of the Stan Smith shoe design that was entirely made with vegan leather. The impact that a vegan shoe line could have to help animals and the planet pushed her to propose a permanent vegan Stan Smith shoe design that would be available to the public.
In an interview with Vogue magazine, McCartney said that after working with Adidas for thirteen years, she felt confident that a vegan shoe design would go over well with consumers. She wanted them to "understand that you don't have to have leather shoes or animal-based glues in order to have an incredible, iconic product."
As a major platform that could create expansive environmental change, Adidas didn't stop there. It then went on to partner with the non-profit Parley for Oceans. Parley has a focus on ending ocean pollution, so Adidas found a way to remove plastics and discarded fishing nets and turn them into quality footwear that would equal twelve recycled plastic bottles per pair of shoes.
After providing a limited edition line of these ocean plastics shoes, the 7,000 available pairs sold out almost immediately. Consumers showed that they care about removing plastics from the ocean and helping the environment, which spurred Adidas to make more than five million more pairs to be permanently on the market.
Adidas has also partnered with Parley to design the Z.N.E. Hoodie Parley made from the same Parley yarn from recycled ocean plastics. Featuring French swimming athlete Coralie Balmy and Brazilian swimming athlete João de Lucca, adidas Athletics is working to inspire others to choose products with a higher purpose.
Balmy said regarding the hoody, “The ocean is everything to me, it’s where I train, compete, work, and relax. I have chosen to dedicate my life to its protection, so I am excited to support the launch of the new adidas Z.N.E. Hoodie Parley. Through my involvement in the campaign I hope to help raise awareness for the cause and demonstrate how innovation and sport can inspire change.”
It has become increasingly important for the world to be aware of what's happening with the oceans. Research shows that by 2050, fish will be outnumbered by plastics in all oceans. That kind of pollution threatens all aquatic wildlife, and when that threat is left alone to drift in the ocean, it will stick around for at least 450 years before breaking down.
Unlike companies who dedicate just a product line or two to make the world a better place, Adidas has committed themselves to being more than just a creator of sustainable shoes. They pledged to meet sustainability targets by 2020, promising to reduce water usage, fight climate change and reduce their energy consumption.
While consumers can shop for footwear with minor ethical shoe brands, Adidas is a major corporation that's meeting the needs of their customers. With their sustainable shoe lines, they're saving animals and helping the world's oceans on a bigger platform. As they continue to find success with their eco-friendly products, they'll influence other larger brands to do the same, promoting even greater change in business practices in the footwear market and beyond. Consumers have shown that what they care about is a product that hasn't harmed the world to get to their shopping cart, and Adidas is making it possible for people to shop without that concern.