Matt Burgess reported last week for Wired that Adidas is testing a new shoe manufactured from a single synthetic material, instead of the dozen found in their typical sneakers. This is the press image showing the different components:
By limiting themselves to one material, it means:
They can be crushed and easily recycled without needing to pull them apart.
It could enable a subscription service, where people like me who don’t care enough about fashion can send back worn shoes and get replacements.
Because they can’t use bleach, the shoe is an off-white. I love earthy and neutral colours now, so I think it looks rather nice.
I still have questions about the supply chain, including the treatment of people making these shoes, and where the raw material for the shoes comes from. I also appreciate there’s a financial disensentive to doing so, but I’d be even more impressed if these shoes were somehow more resilient, and required fewer replacements in the first place. I was going to end saying this is a step in the right direction though, but that’s bad even by my standards.
I don’t care that much for fashion, as mentioned in point two. But my hope is this is part of a wider industry trend towards more sustainable clothing. Australia has learned how wasteful the cotton industry is first hand, for example.