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Adidas is making a shoe that never has to be thrown away.

What do you do when the running shoes you wear every day have given up?

If you're like most of us, you first consider the cost of a new shoe — very important — and then toss your old shoes into the garbage. But maybe you also wonder, as I have done many times, whether shoes belong in the garbage or whether they should be recycled.

Who knows though? They're made of so many different materials. And if they can be recycled, all you can really do is hope that the plastic gets recycled correctly and doesn't end up in the ocean.


Unfortunately, as TreeHugger points out, recycling is "a mess." And despite best intentions, plastic, which is basically indestructible and often disposed of incorrectly, continues being a blight on the environment. That wouldn't be such a problem if it was all recycled, but, according to recent statistics, 91 percent of plastic is never even recycled. That means the shoes you love and had to part with are likely still out there, somewhere, polluting the environment.

That's why Adidas created a running shoe that you never, ever have to throw away.

Back in 2015, Adidas collaborated with Parley for the Oceans, a company that "upcycles" reclaimed ocean plastic into jerseys (donned by every major league soccer team), fashionable running shoes, and yoga clothes. In the few years following, Adidas produced more and more shoes in collaboration with Parley, so now in 2019, they're set to co-produce more than 11 million units.

But Adidas is taking it one step further: they're creating a shoe that the wearer never has to chuck into a trash can; a shoe that won't ever die and will do no damage to the environment if it's returned to Adidas.

Here's how this revolutionary new shoe works.

[rebelmouse-image 19506648 dam="1" original_size="700x499" caption="Photo via Adidas." expand=1]Photo via Adidas.

While previous recycled Adidas shoes were made with uppers created from reclaimed plastic yarns and filaments, the Futurecraft Loop is made of only one material: reusable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Furthermore, the shoe doesn't require any adhesives to be put together. The TPU is turned into yarn, knit together, and then fused to a midsole — so it's all one piece.

When the wearer is done with the shoes, they can return it directly to Adidas, where the months (years?) of grime that running has put on them will be cleaned away. They're then be ground into pellets and melted down into components for an identical shoe.

This is what's called a "closed loop" production process —  absolutely everything gets reused — nothing goes into landfills and/or oceans.

Adidas' dream is to end waste once and for all. Wearing the same shoes over and over again is only the first step.

In order to keep the planet healthy, we all need to work together to eliminate plastic waste.

Do you have to buy an Adidas shoe to help the environment? Of course not. But you do have to put some checks on your plastic consumption. Looking for a way to get started? Here's how.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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