One athletic brand is fighting to keep plastic out of our seas, with stylish results.

By Stacey Leasca
April 04, 2018

There are currently 1.8 trillion teeny, tiny pieces of plastic floating around the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California. Those plastic particles polluting the sea have been dubbed the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” which is now twice the size of Texas—and it’s only continuing to grow.

But here's some good news: There are lots of ways to stop the plastic from getting anywhere near the Patch, and one of them involves buying new shoes.(Yes, really!)

In 2016, Adidas launched a sustainable footwear line in partnership with Parley for the Oceans (a global network of creators that searches for innovative solutions to ocean problems) that features sneakers crafted from plastic “intercepted from beaches and coastal communities.”

Wearing someone else's trash on your feet may sound a little unconventional, but these kicks are just as fashionable as they are functional, with knit bodies in shades that any ocean lover will adore. And clearly, people agree, because as Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted recently explained on CNBC, the company has already sold one million pairs of the eco-friendly shoe.

"We are working with Parley to keep plastic out of our oceans and transform it into high-performance sportswear," Adidas explained about the collaboration on its site. "Spinning the problem into a solution."

Each pair of shoes is made up of an average of 11 plastic bottles and incorporates the recycled plastic into several facets of the product including the laces, heel webbing, heel lining, and sock liner covers.

Thanks to the line’s initial success, Adidas has already expanded its sustainable offerings, adding several more types of sneakers and cleats to the line-up, including the Ultraboost, Ultraboost X, and Ultraboost Uncaged. There's also a new line of sustainable yogawear in partnership with Wanderlust that's fashioned from threads spun out of ocean plastic.

Fans of the partnership can only expect more to come. In March, Eric Liedtke, head of Global Brands at Adidas, told the crowds at SXSW that the company is hoping to produce all of its products—yes, everything—out of recycled plastic from the ocean by 2024. Bravo, Adidas.

To do your part to support the cause, shop the collection now. Products, including shoes and yoga gear, are available for a reasonable $25 to $230.

Related: Meet Our Ocean Heroes, Picked by Jack Johnson: