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Corporate social responsibility efforts have become a key differentiator for many brands. Firehouse Subs, for example, leverages its Public Safety Foundation to produce business growth. Many brands have followed suit through charitable giving and community engagement, as our CSR report indicates. Now, apparel brand Adidas is focusing on similar methods of engagement.
In 2018, Adidas produced more than five million pairs of shoes containing recycled plastic waste. The company plans to more than double that figure this year. To reach this goal, the company has partnered with global collaboration network Parley for the Oceans. Parley for the Oceans intercepts plastic waste on beaches before it can reach the oceans. The waste is then made into a yarn, which becomes a key component in Adidas footwear. The company also produces other apparel from the recycled material, including Champions League jerseys for FC Bayern Munich and Alexander Zverev’s outfit for the Australian Open. Adidas’ goal is to produce 11 million pairs of shoes containing recycled ocean plastic in 2019.
"Sustainability at Adidas goes far beyond recycled plastic," says Adidas Executive Board Member Gil Steyaert, responsible for Global Operations. "We also continue to improve our environmental performance during the manufacturing of our products. This includes the use of sustainable materials, the reduction of CO2 emissions, and waste prevention. In 2018 alone, we saved more than 40 tons of plastic waste in our offices, retail stores, warehouses, and distribution centers worldwide and replaced it with more sustainable solutions."
Recently, Adidas signed the Climate Protection Charter for the Fashion Industry at the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland. The company agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. In addition, it is committed to using only recycled polyester in every product and on every application where a solution exists by 2024. As a founding member of the Better Cotton Initiative, the company sources only sustainably produced cotton. In addition, the company hasn’t used plastic bags in its stores since 2016.
Where the use of plastics is still unavoidable (in transport packaging, for example), the company is relying on counterbalancing measures and promoting sustainable alternatives. It is currently supporting the global innovation platform Fashion for Good with a donation of €1.5 million, which equates to the company’s environmental impact of plastic packaging.
Adidas’ goal to produce more recycled apparel and offset its plastic usage is admirable. Loyalty360 has seen many brands devote themselves to CSR with rigor, for the betterment of our world. We feel that brands that commit to CSR in an authentic manner will reap many benefits.
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