I got some new shoes last week. And not only do they look and feel amazing, they also do good. The shoes are the result of a collaboration between sportswear brand Adidas and Parley for the Ocean, a design company that work to inform people about the trouble our oceans are in and to serve solutions that are both actual solutions as well as desirable products.
Personally, I’ve wanted to get my hands on a pair since I first heard about the collaboration in 2015 and let me just say; I’m aware that talking about a big brand like Adidas as if they are saving the world with their sustainable initiatives is far from the reality, BUT this is so innovative and so important. If supporting this collaboration will in any way help collect some of the enormous amounts of plastic that are floating around in our oceans, I’m all for it. No matter, what Adidas might else be doing.
Why ocean plastic waste is such a big problem
The thing is… Our oceans are dying. Because of us. Because of our consumption habits. And especially because of our love for plastic. A massive amount of plastic end up in the oceans every year and over 5 trillion pieces of plastic are currently floating around in our oceans. The plastic is damaging to marine life. Not only do they get caught in it, they also end up eating it. It’s probably also eaten by you – if you eat seafood. You see the plastic that ends up in the stomach of the fish, might just end up in your stomach as well. I’ve talked about this before in the pros and cons of recycled polyester and you can read more about the issues caused by ocean plastic pollution here or watch this film (it’s available on Netflix).
While Parley do believe, we need to invent an entirely new material, they also realise the importance of solving the problem already at hand and are working to clean up the world’s shorelines through creativity and collaborations.
Ocean plastic waste turned shoes
In a collaboration with Adidas, Parley for the Ocean have designed a shoe made from their collected ocean plastic waste. They have managed to not only create a shoe that looks great, but the hype around it has been amazing. Something made from a recycled material have been made into a high-end product. I saw a comment on Facebook by someone complaining about the price of the shoe, but I think that’s part of the point – products should not be as cheap as we’ve been used to. We need to pay the actual price and we need to pay more for innovation that as in this case can actually help save our oceans.
How to minimise your own plastic waste
I’m aware that going zero waste and plastic free is not an option for many people. Even for me it seems quite overwhelming. But it is really important that we stop this ridiculous, wasteful use of plastic, so here are some easy replacements that we can all (and should all) do:
- Say no to plastic bags: Bring your own cotton tote when you do your grocery shopping (keep one in your bag or car at all times, so you always have one when you swing by the supermarket on your way home.
- Say no to to-go cups. Buy a reusable one instead. Some places will even give you a discount for bringing your own reusable cup.
- Stop putting fruits in plastic bags at the supermarket – it’s just so unnecessary. If this freaks you out, start with bananas and citrus fruits – you are not eating the peel anyway.
- Say no to straws. I’m still learning this one – I always forget, but again, they are quite unnecessary. If you can’t live without a straw in your drink or smoothie, buy a reusable one in bamboo or steel.
- Stop using single-use plastic glasses, cutlery and plates. I know it’s so much easier to not have to do all the dishes from your party last night. But really, you should be able to.