Disruptors: the ideas disrupting industries

Adidas has released a performance running shoe designed for a circular life – once worn out, the shoe is returned to Adidas where the materials will be used for new shoes. This move caters to people who are upping their sustainability efforts and want proactive ways to help brands do the same. We explore the insights behind this and how Adidas is tackling plastic pollution.
The Futurecraft Loop shoe is made from a single material, Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), which is created without adhesives or chemicals to alleviate material separation steps prior to recycling. While all parts of the shoe can be recycled, only around 10% will make up the new Loop shoe in order to maintain quality. However, Adidas hopes to improve this ratio to eventually reach 1:1 product circularity. “Futurecraft Loop is our first running shoe that’s made to be remade," said Eric Liedtke, Group Executive Board Member at Adidas. "It’s a statement of our intent to take responsibility for the entire life of our product; proof that we can build high-performance running shoes that you don’t have to throw away."
More people than ever are shopping sustainably, with just under 50% willing to pay more for sustainable products. However, attitudes to eco-wearables still lag behind paper goods, with only a quarter of people caring about sustainable apparel and footwear items, according to CGS. Businesses are taking action to implement more eco-friendly processes and products, with Adidas leading the way in the circular fashion economy. Retailer Pomelo’s sustainable clothing range is collected when finished with and given to underprivileged communities in Asia. And New York’s Sanitation Department launched a call-to-action social media campaign informing residents where and how to resell or recycle unwanted clothing.
Abi Buller is the editorial assistant at Canvas8, which specializes in behavioral insights and consumer research. Outside of work, you'll find her wandering around art galleries, practising yoga and seeking out new pastel-coloured garments to add to her collection.

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