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Today marks the 5th anniversary of our partnership with Parley.

Five years since our joint commitment to bring change to the industry and fight plastic waste, producing more than 30 million pairs of shoes using Parley Ocean Plastic. 

We said here is a company that has influence and that combines performance, fashion, style, and youth culture, together we could show that brands don’t have to be destructive.  adidas decided to implement our strategy Parley AIR. Avoid. Intercept. Redesign. And make it the core of their company.”  ~ Cyrill Gutsch, CEO and founder of Parley for the Oceans. 

And so, during the 2015 Parley ‘Oceans. Climate. Life.’ event at the United Nations in New York, we announced our partnership to create change together.

We are not just focused on changing how we do business; we are dedicated to changing how our industry does business” ~ James Carnes, adidas VP Brand Strategy.

Moving forward, we will continue working together with Parley on developing, testing and implementing new materials to replace plastic for good. We have joined the Parley Institute for Material Science as a founding Partner; the Institute identifies, evaluates and funds material replacements for plastic and other harmful, toxic or exploitative materials.

The next step for us, in partnership with adidas, is to develop a completely new generation of materials to see all these harmful substances – that are destroying our planet, that are destroying our future – go. You can expect from us to come up with new fabrics and technologies that build on what we see in nature. Technologies that have been on this planet way before we arrived as a species.

The chapter of the new, the next, high tech in materials has just begun and we’re going to surprise you with a lot of new things in the next years to come.” ~ Cyrill. 

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We have always believed in the power and positive impact of coming together as one team. These past months have reaffirmed that.

As we look ahead to what comes next, we have not lost sight of reimagining what’s possible for all of us, as we remain committed to tackling hard-hitting issues head-on – for all of our teammates and our planet.

The stat that has us doing more than just talking is: the footwear industry emits 700M metric tons of carbon dioxide, every year.That’s equivalent to 80,775,444 homes’ energy use for one year.

Taken to a personal level, that translates into a single pair of running shoe made of synthetic materials having a carbon footprint of somewhere between 11.3 and 16.7 kg CO2.

What if we reduced those numbers to zero?

What if by simply choosing the right shoe you could decrease your carbon footprint?

These are not questions that one person or one company can or should answer alone. And so, we’re teaming up with Allbirds, as we seek answers on our joint mission to create a sports-performance shoe with the lowest carbon emissions.

Together we will explore innovations that span everything from manufacturing and supply chain to transportation methods as we aim to eliminate carbon emissions, all while creating a shoe that meets the highest of performance standards – our own. The entire process will be analyzed by both of our life cycle assessment tools, ensuring for double the accountability.

This is a start, but to build the future we must keep talking, and keep pushing forward. Some of the world’s most important conversations are still being had separately, and now more than ever we’re ready to have them together. 

To find out more about adidas’ End Plastic Waste initiative, visit To learn more about Allbirds’s “Tread Lighter” program and the company’s carbon reduction initiatives, visit 

1 Quantis International (2018) Measuring Fashion: Environmental Impact of the Global Apparel and Footwear Industries Study.  Retrieved from 

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Dr. Achanta pulls up to Washington Hospital, taking a deep breath before putting on his face shield, gearing up just like one of our sport heroes would before a game, except this ‘game’ is not a game at all. 

The face shield that Dr. Achanta now wears is one of the more than 200,000 shields that we co-created with Carbon and their global network to support our healthcare workers, as we shifted production of 3D printed midsoles to produce personal protective equipment to aid the Covid-19 relief efforts. 

Dr. Achanta is one of the many healthcare professionals who guided the development of our medical safety equipment, providing invaluable feedback to help the team understand the specific needs of the medical community, a community that was already facing their fair share of obstacles. 

The hospital staff knew this was not a sprint, but rather a marathon and that they’d be in it for the long haul; reminded of the very reason they became healthcare professionals in the first place – to change lives. 

Whether it be reimagining our craft or a simple show of support, we all play our individual parts, but it’s only when we bring those pieces together that we make the biggest change. 

As many of us were sidelined by Covid-19, we saw the real heroes jump to action – our essential healthcare heroes. 

We thank those who day-in and day-out are keeping us safe. 

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Helping Our Healthcare Workers with 3D Printed Face Shields

First, we collaborated with Carbon to reimagine high-performance footwear using 3D printed technology. 

Now, we’ve come together to redirect our efforts to aid the global health crisis. Using the same material co-created for our 4D midsoles, we’ve teamed up to produce 3D printed face shields to support U.S. healthcare organizations, first responders and underserved communities that have the greatest need and don’t have access to adequate supplies. 

The ambition behind using the highly elastic, tear resistant material called Elastomeric Polyurethane, typically used in adidas 4D midsoles, is to create a piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) that can be sanitized* and reused, with the hopes of eliminating waste during a time of scarcity. 

Additionally, the material provides a more comfortable alternative to support those in the front lines as they work long hours, continuing to risk their lives to save others.

Through our support and the quick production turnaround that 3D printing enables, Carbon has been able to scale production from 18,000 face shields a week to upwards of 50,000. 

To scale even further, Carbon is also sharing print files with its entire global network so anyone with access to a Carbon printer and material will be able to create face shields to address needs in their local areas.  

Organizations in need can submit a request at or by email to The team will respond to as many requests as possible, prioritizing those areas that have the most severe shortages and greatest need.

The collaboration with Carbon is one of several steps we have taken to support COVID-19 relief efforts, having previously made donations to the World Health Organization, the China Youth Development Foundation, hospitals in South Korea and the Red Cross.

*Each hospital should determine appropriate use / reuse protocols based on a review of the product by the hospital’s Infection Control group. 

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