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The Inertia

You’ve likely read the headlines about German sportswear giant Adidas’ efforts to make shoes and clothing out of ocean plastic. The company’s plans are nothing if not ambitious – earlier this year Adidas committed to producing 11 million pairs of shoes made with ocean plastic in 2019. That’s up from five million in 2018 and one million in 2017. But how, exactly, does Adidas do it?

As explained by Tech Insider in the video above, Adidas’ ocean plastic line comes from the company’s partnership with the global non-profit Parley for the Oceans. In short, through Parley’s beach cleanup efforts around the world, plastic debris gets diverted to an Adidas’ processing facility to be broken down and converted into thread that can be integrated into uppers for footwear, soccer jerseys, and more.

Making products from ocean plastic is just one component of Adidas’ commitment to sustainability and the company’s efforts to show how upcycled products can perform the same as products made from virgin material.

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