As the world’s oceans swell with massive floating islands of garbage, one apparel company has seized on an innovative idea to turn the marine mess into shoes and clothes.
German multinational Adidas will develop materials made from plastic ocean waste that can be used in the manufacturing of some of its products, the company said in a statement Monday. The Adidas Group has formed a long-term partnership with Parley for the Oceans, an environmental group, to bring the items to stores by 2016.
“Our oceans are about to collapse and there is not much time left to turn it around. Nobody can solve this alone. Everyone has to be part of the solution. And collaboration is the magic formula,” Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans, said in the statement. Parley, a group of artists, musicians, actors, inventors, and scientists, raises awareness for the planet’s oceans and collaborates on projects that aim to end the destruction of oceans.
The sportswear company also plans to phase out its use of plastic bags at its 2,900 stores. Adidas shared its plans and released its annual sustainability report two days before Earth Day, held annually on April 22.
Environmental groups recently have put pressure on large fashion brands to reduce their environmental impact. Last year, Adidas brought sustainability to its stores when the company introduced its first “green” retail concept at a shop in Nuremberg, Germany, equipped with resource- and energy-saving features and installations.
COLUMN: When Earth Day changed the world
Although the damaging impact of climate change is predicted to worsen in the coming century, its extreme effects are already being felt on every continent and across the world’s oceans, a United Nations assessment revealed last year. The UN has warned that the global threat will increase if leaders don’t rein in the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Federal records revealed that the past winter and the first two months of 2015 were the hottest on record globally, despite the constant chill throughout the eastern United States.
President Barack Obama will travel to Florida’s Everglades National Park on Wednesday to deliver an Earth Day speech on the threat climate change poses to the U.S. economy. Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection has been banned from using the term “climate change,” according to multiple reports, although the state governor’s office denies the charge.
In his ongoing effort to combat climate change both at home and abroad, Obama signed an executive order last month to reduce the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40%. Although the government contributes only a small percentage of total emissions, the cuts are expected to keep 26 million metric tons of greenhouse gases out of the air by 2025.