It’s estimated that around 330 million pairs of shoes are sold each year in the UK alone. But with most of these ending up in landfills and decomposition taking approximately 50 years, it’s time the shoe industry started to do things differently. Which is why adidas has just announced the fully recyclable Loop as part of their Futurecraft range.
‘Made to be remade”, the Futurecraft Loop is the first ever performance running shoe made entirely from one single material. After nearly a decade of research and development, adidas has found a way to make every aspect of the shoe – including laces, a woven upper and sturdy sole – from a plastic called Thermoplastic Polyeutherane (TPU), making them fully recyclable when discarded.
Once a pair of Futurecraft Loop trainers have been run into the ground, adidas are offering a recycling service where they’ll be washed and then ground into the material in pellet-form. From there, they can be melted down to create material components for a new pair of shoes. No landfill. No waste.
Although the idea is to create zero-waste, the ‘first generation’ run of the Loops will be made from 100% ‘virgin’ (non-recycled) plastic as a recycled TPU doesn’t currently exist in the optimum quality. The making process isn’t one-for-one yet either; currently only 5-10% of the recycled material from the old Loop shoe can be used to create a new one, while the rest is used to surface running tracks and playgrounds.
adidas hopes to begin dropping limited runs of the Futurecraft Loop in 2020, with a full release scheduled in for Spring/ Summer 2021. The Loop might not be the answer but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Let us know what you think in the Comments below and head over to the adidas Group Website for more information.
It’s not the first innovation adidas have been a part of either. In 2016, they created shoe made using completely biodegradable fabric. They also introduced the first performance trainer to be made entirely from marine plastic waste with Parley for the Oceans, a collaboration which is set to sell an impressive 11 million trainers this year.