From its inception in 2015, the adidas x Parley partnership has continued to spawn perennial product with a sustainable story. Creating innovative footwear and in more recent times, apparel, the partnership seeks to turn the marine plastic waste crisis into a movement to save our oceans. By collecting and recycling ocean waste and illegal deep-sea gill nets, the two companies partnered to make a conceive product that delivers coveted design, with sustainable practices. With the adidas x Parley NMD ‘Core Black’ landing at JD Sports, we take a deep dive into one of the most powerful partnerships in the game.
WHO IS PARLEY FOR THE OCEANS?
Founded by activist and designer, Cyrill Gutsch, Parley for the Oceans was conceived with the goal of creating change; addressing major threats towards the world’s oceans. Observing an ever-growing human behaviour of destruction in our oceans, Cyrill saw the opportunity for unlikely collaboration to turn the ship around before it’s too late. By utilising creative industries to encourage change and spread their message, the not-for-profit organisation seeks to bring together unique parties to develop business models and ecologically conscious products to save our oceans from the threat of pollution. With recent collaborative projects with American Express, Stella McCartney and Intel, adidas continues to be a central figure in pushing the movement forward.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
In 2015, adidas and Parley for the Oceans first partnered with the goal of creating a shoe using recycled ocean plastics. Thus, spawned the adidas x Parley Uncaged Ultra BOOST. Utilising Parley Ocean Plastic, collected by parter organisation Sea Shepherd, illegal deep-sea gillnets and plastics were retrieved in coastal areas surrounding the Maldives. Using this waste, the partnership employed new technologies to up-cycle ocean plastic debris to create a limited edition launch drop of 7,000 pairs. Employing one of adidas’ most innovative production methods, adidas Tailored Fibre Technology, the revolutionary manufacturing technique that enables unique footwear designs to be tailored to the specific performance needs of any athlete. With each pair recycling an equivalent of 11 plastic bottles of waste, the shoes represented a beacon of technological design and ecological hope heard by sneakerheads worldwide. Instantly selling out across select adidas stockists, it marked a significant step forward for raising global awareness in ending ocean destruction.
To support the release of the adidas x parley sneaker, adidas launched the Run for the Oceans movement. Encouraging both novice and experienced runners to get moving for a greater cause, adidas pledged to donate US$1 to the Parley Ocean School program for every kilometre tracked. Now in 2018, the most recent Run for the Oceans saw over 900,000 runners around the world from LA, New York, Paris, London and Shanghai, cover more than 12 million kilometres; raising a million dollars in funding for Parley education initiatives.
FROM MOVEMENT TO REVOLUTION
In 2017, adidas sold over one million pairs of adidas x Parley sneakers, whilst also removing plastic bags from it’s retail stores; saving approximately 70 million plastic bags. With a long-term sustainability plan in the works for the long-standing partnership, the parley range has made appearances on silhouettes including the Deerupt, Ultra BOOST and ADV. Now with the adidas x Parley NMD appearing on the shoreline horizon, ensure that your footwear not only looks good, but also carries a message of change to the betterment of our future.
Look for the adidas X Parley NMD to launch at JD Sports on the 7th of November.