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The ultimate goal is to have a product that delivers high performance, but which is also made in a sustainable way.

The guiding principle of Adi Dassler, the founder of adidas, is simple: to make athletes better. That is why, at adidas, innovation is at the core of all our products. The choice of materials and how they are manufactured are the two main ways by which our innovation teams can influence the environmental footprint of our products. To mention some examples: Avoiding oil-based plastic helps reduce carbon emissions. Thinner or lighter materials mean less waste and less embedded carbon. Dry-dyeing clothes saves water, chemicals and energy. Approaching the innovation challenge from an environmental perspective helps us make products that are better for consumers and better for the planet, too.

Here are examples of where environmentally friendly innovative ideas and new technologies have been used in the creation of our products.


At adidas, we aim to avoid plastic waste and the use of recycled plastic not only in our products but also when it comes to  transportation. One example is the use of polybags. They are a highly effective plastic packaging for protecting products during shipping, handling and storage, and are widely used across the fashion industry to ensure a safe arrival of garments to the consumer. With this in mind adidas is striving to develop and implement a solution for a circular use of polybags. For example, together with the global innovation platform ‘Fashion for Good’, we are exploring the development of a recycling infrastructure for used polybags as well as innovative recycling processes for polybags, testing the technical feasibility of polybag circularity. In addition, the company aims to reduce its use of virgin plastic and is well on track to meet its goal to transition to the use of 100% recycled LDPE polybags by 2021.

  • As of March 2020, we have implemented a pilot scheme in London to test and establish an infrastructure in which circular polybags could exist: Through this program, polybags will be collected and recycled from select retail stores in central London.
  • In Spain, we are testing a complete recycling loop for polybags called the 'Circular Polybag Pilot'. It focuses on manufacturing a suitable polybag by using post-consumer polybag waste. One of the industry challenges it seeks to address is how to deal with ink and adhesive contaminants during the recycling process.