By Larraine Roulston:
Great news from Adidas! This year, the global sportswear manufacturer is moving towards eliminating all virgin plastic from its products entering its retail stores, warehouses, distribution centers and offices. The company has by 2024. Their commitment will prevent an estimated 40 tons of virgin plastic from entering the waste stream annually.
Maria Culp, company spokesperson, states, “Adidas’ spring and summer 2019 clothing line will contain about 41 percent recycled polyester. We aim to use 100% recycled polyester in every product and on every application where a solution exists by 2024.” Presently, the recycling rate of plastic is very low. Worldwide, as little as 14% of all the plastic manufactured becomes recycled. Compare that to 58% of reclaimed paper and up to 90% for iron and steel.
Adidas is anticipating an increase in its sales of Parley shoes, manufactured from plastic gathered on beaches. Their decision will prevent this litter from washing into the oceans. Although the company is racing to become more environmentally responsible by utilizing discarded plastic, it’s equally important to manufacture long-lasting products.
Kirsten Brodde, who leads the Greenpeace project “Detox My Fashion,” noted that Adidas’ announcement is an improvement; however, the fashion industry needs to look at the larger picture of sustainability. She added, “To truly be sustainable, companies like Adidas need to produce less, more durable and repairable products. To solve our plastic waste problem, we need to stop producing so much plastic from the start, and in order to make fashion more sustainable, rethink a fashion system that hypes new trends every week.”
It is time to consider the environment when we shop for clothes. The chemicals from textile dyes alone that enter our waterways are a major pollutant. Compound that with keeping in step with the latest trends! What is in fashion one year but not the next is being referred to as “fast fashion.” Globally, popular brands are producing more clothes and accessories than our planet is capable of handling. “Detox My Fashion” is just one of Greenpeace’s missions. Its message reminds us to rethink our throwaway mentality and begin to invest in fabrics that will endure.
Influential companies such as Adidas are beginning to travel on the right track by entering the new circular economy. As well, reducing the use of virgin plastic means extracting less oil. When it comes to our appearance, it’s also up to us to ensure that we do our part: select products with labels stating they are manufactured from recycled materials, and choose quality over quantity.