Sep 16, 2016
Would you wear clothes made out of rubbish?
What’s the deal with all the rubbish polluting our seas? One 3D printing company has just started making high-end sneakers out of trash from the ocean. Is this a sustainable solution to an ongoing man-made problem? Would you feel comfortable wearing these shoes down the street?
In December 2015, Adidas unveiled its most innovative sneakers to date. What makes them so special? The materials they used included recycled fishing nets, polyester and plastics – part of the 8 million tonnes of trash dumped into the ocean every year. So, this might just be the most stylish way to save the planet yet. It’s definitely a huge step towards a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly focus in mainstream fashion. So, how does it work? Is it a one-off, or something that will catch on for other apparel items and companies?
The footwear giant certainly thinks the sustainable shoe is a concept that’s only going to get bigger, with Adidas Group Executive Board member Eric Liedkte saying,
We are partnering with Parley to save the oceans because we must stop waiting, we must start acting, and we must start somewhere. There is no better and more important place to start then with the oceans. They are the sustenance of all life and they are dying.
Is 3D printing trash the most significant breakthrough yet for the ethical consumer?
The intersection of fashion and morality is a murky one. In the past, items such as UK designer Anya Hindmarch’s “I am not a plastic bag” tote, have taken off in the mainstream. But, on closer reflection, these occurrences have appeared more as publicity stunts than real calls to arms. But when a big name like Adidas takes on the eco-warrior mantle it might be time for us to sit up and take notice.
The shoe is still in prototype stage and predicted for 2016 release, with German scientists working to create it entirely from ocean waste. So, is this the perfect sneaker – giving us the chance to look good, stay ahead of the fashion curve, and do our bit for the planet at the same time? And how far should we run with it – would you wear an outfit made entirely from recycled rubbish?