Earn an extra billion and save the waves – all in a year’s work for Adidas
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Earn an extra billion and save the waves – all in a year’s work for Adidas

Fashionable sportswear brand Adidas, best known as a purveyor of high-quality sneakers, has a new mission: to save the world’s oceans. Our seas are in trouble: as we continue to manufacture disposable plastics which are later dumped, it’s estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. Working in partnership with non-Profit Parley for the Oceans, Adidas is planning to change that – and bring in a billion dollars of revenue in the process!

Adidas’s share price has appreciated by 21% year to date

graph 0111 adidas

Source: Yahoo Finance

Adidas is using re-purposed sea plastic to create limited edition runs of sneakers. Each pair of these shoes will contain the equivalent of 11 plastic bottles of waste. It started doing this years ago – and the shoes sold out instantly. So now, it’s kicking it up a gear.

The company is getting the plastic waste from Parley for the Ocean and its partners, which conduct beach cleans and deep-sea plastic retrieval operations. Each year, it plans to sell a million pairs of these recycled sneakers. And, since they sell at around $220 a pair, that translates into a billion dollars of revenue annually. Given the prevalence of environmentalism amongst millennial consumers – Adidas’s key demographic – the brand should have no difficulty continuing to drum up interest.

It’s a perfect example of conservation and capitalism working together: a cleaner planet, and a boost to revenues. And, even better, the company has announced that it plans to use recycled plastics in all its products by 2024 (as of right now, Adidas makes 450 million pairs of shoes a year!)

Eric Liedtke, an executive board member for Global Brands Adidas Group, has championed the initiative from the start (2014, when the company made just 7,500 pairs of the recycled shoes). He made the following statement in a recent interview:

Adidas teamed up with Parley to help spread awareness and transform ocean plastic pollution into high-performance sportswear, spinning the problem into a solution. The threat, into a thread. We have already taken the first steps to reduce and ultimately eliminate virgin and single-use plastic from our products. In doing so, we have shown that it is possible and that people care – but now we must accelerate and scale. As a creator brand, we believe that necessity drives innovation and that solving the toughest problems only makes us and our products better – all while doing less harm to the world.”

Dominion holds Adidas in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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