Parley for the Oceans, a nonprofit, has collaborated with Adidas to produce textiles from ocean waste. Working with a global cleanup network, Parley removes plastic debris from coastlines, ocean waste, and illegal deep-sea gill nets, and transforms it into yarns and filaments.
Since the team released the first prototype, a concept sneaker, in June 2015 in a limited run, it has put out many more shoes and garments, including a midsole 3D-printed from ocean plastic. The newest shoe, Parley Ultra Boost, consists of 95 per cent ocean plastic, or about eleven plastic bottles. Addressing plastic pollution in the oceans is an ecological challenge of massive proportions.
A number of other brands have since followed Adidas’s example of partnering with nonprofits to tackle the plastics problem. Ananas Anam has created a natural textile Piñatex made from pineapple leaves. The product makes use of fiber by-products of pineapple agriculture and requires no additional land, water, fertilizer, or harmful chemicals. The result is a lightweight, flexible, and breathable alternative to resource-intensive leather. Ananas Anam is continuing to develop the material, aiming for a fully biodegradable product. Efforts to grow climate-beneficial fibers are on.