World Footwear


adidas uses more than 50% recycled polyester in its products

Jan 28, 2020 Germany
adidas uses more than 50% recycled polyester in its products
This year adidas reaches a significant milestone on their road to sustainability: in 2020, for the first time, more than half of the polyester used in adidas products will come from recycled plastic waste
From 2024 onwards, the company is committed to using only recycled polyester. In 2020, adidas also plans to produce a record 15 to 20 million pairs of shoes with plastic waste collected from beaches and coastal regions. Last year, adidas already produced more than 11 million pairs of such shoes. The use of recycled plastic in products is part of the company's efforts to avoid plastic waste and contribute to the decrease in the pollution of the world's oceans. The increasing use of recycled materials is just one example of adidas' sustainability activities. The spectrum ranges from using increasingly sustainable materials, waste prevention and new types of take-back programs for used products, to climate protection. In 2020, adidas will introduce new product categories based on sustainability criteria.

Preservation of the oceans

Since 2015, adidas has been cooperating with the environmental organization “Parley for the Oceans”. The adidas x Parley products, which are made with plastic waste from beaches and coastal regions, are intended to contribute to the preservation of the world’s oceans. In addition, adidas organizes the annual “Run for the Oceans”. Last year, 2.2 million runners took part in 50 running events worldwide, including events in New York, Shanghai and Barcelona. adidas rewarded the commitment of the runners and donated 1.5 million US dollars to its partner “Parley for the Oceans” for educational projects for children in developing countries. The curriculum includes the importance of the oceans for our planet as well as practical tips on how to avoid waste.

The response was also very positive within the company: in 2019, around 2 500 participants took part in the run at the headquarters in Herzogenaurach alone, and more than 17 000 employees participated worldwide. At some locations, waste was also collected during the runs.

By largely eliminating plastic at office locations as well as in stores and warehouses, adidas avoids around 40 tonnes of plastic waste per year. As an example, the sports brand announced that the headquarters in Herzogenaurach is now plastic-free.


For 20 years, adidas has been listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which includes criteria such as corporate governance, risk management and climate protection as well as labor and environmental standards both within the company and at its suppliers. A major contribution is made by the strict workplace standards at adidas, which also set binding requirements for suppliers with regard to fair working conditions, appropriate wages, and a safe and environment-friendly working environment. adidas monitors these standards through regular in-house inspections by its own team of experts as well as through independent third-party inspections.

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