Adidas has unveiled the new Futurecraft.Loop, a 100 percent recyclable performance running shoe that is meant to contribute to the global battle against plastic waste. The company has described the shoe as its “first running shoe that is made to be remade.” The Futurecraft.Loop is aimed at enabling a “closed loop” or circular manufacturing model, where the raw materials can be repurposed again and again – not into some other product but specifically into another pair of high-performance running shoes. This is why these shoes do not have to ever be thrown away, explains the company.
Each component of the Futurecraft.Loop is made from 100 percent reusable TPU and using no glue, whereas athletic footwear typically includes complex material mixes and component gluing, resulting in a shoe that can only be downcycled. Once the shoe has come to the end of its first life, it can be returned to Adidas, where it is washed, ground to pellets and melted into material for components for a new pair of shoes, with zero waste and nothing thrown away.
The first generation of the Futurecraft.Loop shoe is being rolled out as part of a global beta launch, with 200 international “Creators.” Adidas will challenge them to use the shoes, return them and share feedback on their experience. These insights will be used to shape the roadmap for the wider release of the shoe, which is planned to take place for spring/summer 2021.
The Futurecraft.Loop is part of Adidas' wider sustainability strategy. In 2015, the sports brand introduced the first performance shoe concept with an upper made entirely of yarns and filaments reclaimed and recycled from marine plastic waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets, in partnership with Parley for the Oceans. In 2019, Adidas has announced that it will produce 11 million pairs of shoes with Ocean Plastic by Parley, made with plastic waste intercepted on beaches, remote islands and in coastal communities.