Adidas to use only recycled polyester by 2024

Adidas is planning to use only recycled plastics in all its polyester shoes and clothing within the next six years.

The apparel manufacturer, which already makes some shoes and items of clothing from recycled plastics, said it would stop using any “virgin polyester” in its products by 2024 as part of its sustainability plan.

The brand is spreading the transition over a number of years to absorb the additional cost of the recycled material.

In comments to the Financial Times, confirmed by Adidas, Eric Liedtke, executive board member for global brands, said the firm would “get rid of virgin polyester overall by 2024”.

He added: “With [Adidas’s] kind of volumes, we cannot make the transition overnight… We have to make sure we take right-sized bites so that we can maintain our current margin structure. We can absorb some costs every year, but we could not absorb it all in one year.”

An Adidas spokesperson told SM the brand’s spring/summer line for 2019 already contained around 41% recycled polyester.

In 2016 Adidas launched a line of trainers made from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets that would have likely ended up in the ocean (opens new window). The firm said it had sold 1m pairs in 2017, recycling about 11m bottles, and was hoping to increase sales to 5m in 2018.