For Earth Day 2021, adidas has released the fully recyclable UltraBOOST “Made To Be Remade.”
As part of the brand’s continued commitment to addressing the devastating levels of plastic pollution in our oceans, this inventive sneaker is made to be recycled into new performance products. This transformative approach to design begins with the use of just one material type, and no glue or color dye. Each component is made from 100% reusable TPU plastic, both used and virgin. It’s spun to yarn, knitted, moulded and clean-fused to a BOOST midsole using adidas SPEEDFACTORY technology.
“You wear it out. Return it. And [adidas will] reuse the materials in something new.”
Once your pair is ready to be recycled, you can scan the prominent QR code on the tongue with your smartphone. This then opens a user-friendly digital platform where you can begin the return process, making the circular experience an easy and simple one.
This is not the first time adidas has produced a fully recyclable shoe however. Back in 2019, the brand premiered the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP, featuring the same construction, ethos, and look as today’s drop. The FUTURECRAFT.LOOP was gifted to just 200 select creators at the time in a beta-like trial program, who were all asked to beat their pairs into the ground and return them just a few weeks later with any relevant feedback. Then, after about seven months had passed, adidas unveiled the Phase 2 FUTURECRAFT.LOOP made from the first version.
“FUTURECRAFT.LOOP is our first running shoe that is made to be remade,” said Eric Liedtke, Executive Board Member at adidas, at the time of its showing in 2019. “It is a statement of our intent to take responsibility for the entire life of our product; proof that we can build high-performance running shoes that you don’t have to throw away.”
According to the accompanying 2019 adidas newsroom story, “once the shoes come to the end of their first life and are returned to adidas – they are washed, ground to pellets and melted into material for components for a new pair of shoes, with zero waste and nothing thrown away.”
In the fall of 2020, adidas expanded this initiative to 1,500 creators around the globe, gifting them the third iteration, the UltraBOOST DNA LOOP. Each user had to take part in a 21-week program driven by the adidas app, where the community’s actions and feedback aided in “futureproofing” the model.
The adidas UltraBOOST “Made To Be Remade” is the first time this technology is being made available to the general public for purchase. It is currently available at adidas.com to Creators Club members for $180 USD.
“We cannot create a circular future on our own, we are going to need each other,” said Tanyaradzwa Sahanga, Manager, Technology Innovation, at adidas, in 2019.
In related footwear news, adidas recently showcased its first-ever sneaker made from mushroom leather.