In 2018, adidas created a global movement with Run for the Oceans, uniting nearly one million runners from around the world and raising $1 mn for long-term partner Parley for the Oceans. To date, the money raised has helped directly educate and empower 100,000 youth and their families who are living in coastal areas affected by plastic pollution to take action as part of the Parley Ocean School Program. The partnership saw five mn pairs of shoes created using recycled ocean plastic in 2018 alone.
In 2019, adidas is upping the pace of change. The introduction of the 2019 Parley range will see the company produce a landmark 11 mn pairs of shoes using upcycled marine plastic waste. The campaign this year will also unite more runners in more locations than ever before to lace up and Run for The Oceans to reach its increased goal of $1.5 mn. For every kilometer completed between June 8 and 16, adidas will contribute $1 to Parley Ocean School programs, with every dollar going towards the next phase of the partnership with the development and launch of the Parley youth activist platform.
While RFTO is a global movement, closer home in India, adidas has given the movement further wings by associating with Adv. Afroz Shah, the UN Champion of Earth 2016, starting from 2018. The purposeful initiative has resulted into activities that tackle the problem of marine litter. Cleaning Mumbai beaches, conserving the mangroves, running ground action workshop to stop litter and segregate plastic waste and most importantly the ideology of a circular economy.
This year, the brand has joined hands with eco champions and young leaders of sustainability including Abhimanyu Chakravorty (Founder Plogga India & Environment activist), and Sumer Verma (India’ first marine photographer & conservationist) take the movement wider. Inspiring the larger universe to join the movement; adidas is bringing together its community of adidas Runners, brand ambassadors, employees, store partners, store staff, and even consumers to make a difference and contribute to reducing marine plastic pollution by participating on the on-ground and digital runs.
Sharad Singla, Brand Marketing Director, adidas India, said: “The marine plastic crisis we’re facing has become critically urgent. We affect it daily through the plastics we use and throw away. Every minute, the equivalent of a dump truck of plastic waste enters our oceans and by 2050, this could mean there may be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans. We know the stats and we’re aware of the issue. Now we need action. adidas x Parley has helped spread awareness of the crisis facing our oceans but also contributed to finding solutions. Back in 2016, we created the first performance products with recycled ocean plastics and went on to produce six mn pairs of adidas x Parley shoes by 2018, with a goal of making 11 million units this year, intercepting vast amounts of plastic from entering our oceans”.
Cyrill Gutsch, Founder and CEO, Parley for the Oceans, said: “Run for the Oceans is an opportunity to celebrate the oceans, a place where runners unite to dedicate their time and energy and generate investment towards saving our oceans – this year, for our new activist platform, a global stage for the next generation of creators, leaders and thinkers. As the voice of our future, our youth make the most convincing teachers and best ambassadors, educating parents, industry leaders and politicians, and using media in the most native way. Youth are our biggest hope, since they are driven by the strongest of all motivations: Their own survival. We are more than grateful for the generous support of our founding partner adidas. It allows us to grow the movement into a superstorm of change.”
Through their partnership, adidas and Parley have intercepted vast amounts of plastic waste from marine environments and coastal communities, turning Ocean Plastic® into sportswear since 2015. Timed to coincide with Run for the Oceans 2019, adidas introduces its Alphabounce+ Parley and a full range of new sports apparel, ambitiously driving towards its 2024 goal of eliminating the use of virgin polyester from all products.
The range is crafted from upcycled plastic waste delivering eco-innovation and style without compromising on performance. Parley Pro-Dye has also been used in the manufacturing process – it has the added aesthetic effect of creating a unique material pattern in each piece. The Alphabounce+ Parley is designed with maximum support and comfort in mind, with tuned forging, a welded lacing system and an optimized fit.