As of now about 50 per cent of the materials Adidas uses in the over 900 million items it sells are polyester. Adidas has decided to use only recycled plastics in all its shoes and clothing by 2024. The goal is to get rid of virgin polyester overall. Adidas’ decision follows initial success in selling recycled plastic footwear. Its commitment has grown from one million pairs produced in 2017, to five million in 2018 and this year a projected 11 million pairs. In 2018, the brand saved more than 40 tons of plastic waste in its offices, retail stores, warehouses and distribution centers worldwide and replaced it with more sustainable solutions.
Polyester accounts for 55 per cent of the global fiber market. Every year, eight million metric tons of plastic waste enters the oceans. Sustainable fashion has primarily been relegated to niche fashion brands and to narrow product categories within the industry. It has yet to be adopted widely by the mainstream and across the full product spectrum. Until now the fashion industry as a whole has largely lagged behind consumers in responding to their growing demand for environmentally responsible, sustainable fashion. Companies in the fashion industry are now building economically-sustainable businesses through sustainability, one plastic bottle at a time.