NiceKicks Looks Inside The adidas x Parley For The Oceans Partnership

NiceKicksNick DePaula recently caught up with adidas VP of Brand Strategy Creation, James Carnes to discuss their partnership with Parley For The Oceans.

Adidas, Alexandar Taylor Studio and Parley teamed up to create a specialised shoe made of recycled fishing nets, which was initially limited to a 50 pair giveaway. However, given the feedback of the release and the mission they’ve set out on, the partnership has quickly grown into them releasing their Uncaged UltraBoost Parley. The UltraBoost version is made up of 95% recycled ocean plastic and 5% recycled polyester, with 7,000 pairs being available for purchase later today.

“At this point, it’s no longer just about raising awareness. It’s about taking action and implementing strategies that can end the cycle of plastic pollution for good,” says Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley For The Oceans.

From how Jame’s role at adidas has shifted during his time at the brand, to how their partnership with Parley has grown so quickly, the article gives us a greater appreciation of the hard work that’s gone into this commendable partnership. You can see a snippet of the interview below, for the full article head to NiceKicks.


NDP: How did the opportunity with Parley For The Oceans come about then?

JC: We get stuff sent to us all of the time. Sometimes that’s a 7-year-old kid who says he wants to design shoes, and how do you tell them no? Or sometimes it’s a supplier that says, “I have a special shoe lace!” We made a shoe last year at the United Nations, because ocean sustainability was one of the items being discussed at the summit. Cyrill Gutsch is the founder of Parley, and he’s a passionate dude that changed his entire life to be preserving the oceans.

While working on that project together, we ended up with 72 kilometers of abandoned poacher’s net that was retrieved by Sea Shepherd, which is a group of about 80 people that spends ten months going around and protecting the ocean. For about 24 days straight, the entire crew went through shifts to pull these 72 kilometers of nets onboard.

These fishing nets are super high-grade nylon, to the point that when you’re recycling it, you’re getting something that’s a higher grade than what you get from many injected parts. We made that United Nations sample in less than six days as an experiment, and it’s not built for performance, but we wanted to see if we could be the first to make a shoe out of recycled nylon and other recycled content. The upper is 100% recycled ocean plastic, and then we brought in materials people and other designers to all work on different parts of the shoe at once.

The first time I met with Cyrill, we had these 72 kilometers of nets, and we were also looking at using different knitting machines. We had new machines that could go from knitting fine yarns, to even thicker cables through the upper. We had done all kinds of samples with exaggerated cables too, like electric cables, fiber glass and even carbon fiber, just to see if it could be done. I took all of that and I said to Cyrill, “You know, I think we have a process that can take all of this stuff.” So we actually broke down the nets, broke it down into a spool of filaments and then made a yarn from that.

For the full interview, head to NiceKicks.







Mr. Bailey

Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks |

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