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More Sustainable Materials

We are committed to steadily increasing the use of preferred fibers and are constantly exploring new, innovative materials to incorporate into our products.
More Sustainable Materials

We strive to create the best sporting goods. At the same time we want to reduce any potential impact this has on the planet. This is why we adopt increasingly more sustainable materials for making our products. We align our approach to more sustainable materials with internationally recognized industry definitions: “A fiber or raw material that delivers consistently reduced impacts and increased benefits for climate, nature, and people against the conventional equivalent, through a holistic approach to transforming production systems.”  

Find out more about our latest progress in our 2023 Annual Report

Besides transforming our portfolio to preferred fibers and materials, we are constantly exploring new innovative materials to incorporate into our products. Our approach is to be transparent about the materials we use, their environmental impact, and our efforts to mitigate any potential negative effects. Working with industry partners is essential to navigate this journey. (See Our Collaborations) 

In the following sections, we dive into the reasons behind our material choices, the effects they can have on the environment and people, and our approach to addressing potential impacts.



Polyester is the most commonly used material in our products due to its unique properties. Polyester allows us to build strong and lightweight materials that dry quickly and can be used in various applications, including football jerseys, outdoor jackets and training leggings. Polyester also blends well with natural fibers such as cotton, offering a perfect combination of performance and comfort. 


We recognize the environmental impacts associated with virgin polyester. As a material derived from petroleum, its production involves energy and water consumption, as well as chemical-intensive processes that contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions. 


In 2017, we set ourselves the ambitious target to replace all virgin polyester with recycled polyester in all products where a solution exists by the end of 2024. We set clear internal milestones for our product creation teams and have seen progress over the last several seasons. In 2023, 99% (2022: 96%) of all the polyester we used was recycled. With that, we are on track to use only recycled polyester by the end of 2024. While recycled polyester has been in use for a long time, it is still not the standard in the textile industry, with only 15% of polyester produced worldwide being recycled polyester.

Recycled polyester is a better alternative to virgin polyester as it uses existing material as feedstock and has an overall significantly lower environmental impact. Currently, we derive recycled polyester from recycled plastic bottles, with the aim of transitioning to recycled polyester from textile fiber-to-fiber recycling. Fiber-to-fiber recycling is currently in the early stages of development, we are, however, actively working with innovative recyclers to advance this technology and expect it to scale in the next decade. 

To ensure the integrity of our recycled materials, we work closely with our supply chain partners, using certifications from reputable third-party certifications such as the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) and the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS). These certifications guarantee robust chain of custody and minimize the risks of unauthorized mixing or swapping of materials. 


One key partner on our journey towards recycled polyester is Parley for the Oceans, an environmental organization and global collaboration network. Together, we strive to raise awareness of the oceans' beauty and fragility and inspire innovative approaches to creating, thinking, and living on our finite blue planet. 

One of the impactful outcomes of our collaboration is Parley Ocean Plastic, a recycled polyester yarn used in our products. This material is created in part from plastic waste that has been intercepted from beaches and coastal communities, preventing it from polluting the ocean.

In 2015, we proudly unveiled the first adidas x Parley running shoe, showcasing our commitment to sustainability by utilizing recycled plastic waste. This shoe was presented at the United Nations headquarters in New York, marking a significant milestone on our sustainability journey. Since then, we have used Parley Ocean Plastic in millions of products across our entire product range.

DOWNLOAD adidas x Parley – Q&A




Elastic polymers, such as ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), and elastane, play essential roles in our products. An EVA footwear sole offers numerous advantages, as it is lightweight and flexible, making it an ideal choice for shoe bases. Elastane, also known as Lycra, is a crucial material in our products, providing stretch and allowing garments and trims to fit snugly while enabling freedom of movement. These elastic polymers contribute to our products' comfort, functionality, and longevity. 


The production of elastic polymers relies on petroleum-based inputs and is associated with energy-, water-, and chemical-intensive production processes that can contribute to the increase of resource depletion and global greenhouse gas emissions. 


We are already using EVA materials that contain recycled content. However, there are still many limitations that impact the performance of such materials. This is why we also work on finding alternatives that replace petroleum-based inputs with renewable ones, like bio-based EVA which use plant-based content derived from sugar cane or corn.



Polyamide fabric is highly versatile due to various finishing processes that can be applied. Nylon, the most common type of polyamide, offers exceptional performance qualities such as strength, stretch and moisture-wicking properties. Polyamides like nylon are used in a wide range of products, for example for adidas training leggings.  


The production of polyamides relies on petroleum-based inputs and is associated with energy-, water-, and chemical-intensive production processes that can contribute to the increase of resource depletion and global greenhouse gas emissions. 


We are already using recycled polyamides in many products. At the same time, we recognize the need for better alternatives that can replace fossil-fuel-derived polyamides. Our goal is to adopt these alternatives as soon as they become commercially viable, ensuring that they meet the high product performance standards expected by our consumers.