President John F. Kennedy once said, “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came.” This statement arguably holds true, though it’s legitimacy has yet to be fully realized -- we are stewards of nature. As we strive for constant growth and innovation, we have forgotten that many of these steps lead to the destruction of our priceless resources if we do not learn how to live sustainably.
Unfortunately, our oceans aren’t as beautiful and pristine as they used to be, and marine life isn’t as abundant as it was decades ago. Every year, we manage to produce about 17.6 billion pounds of plastic that finds its way into the ocean. This would be equivalent to a truck-load of plastic being dumped into the sea every minute—and that’s just plastic alone.
Parley, a group of creators, thinkers, and leaders that spread awareness for the beauty and fragility of the oceans has collaborated with the big-name brand Adidas in order to generate a greater positive change in the environment. Parley strongly believes that: “There is no magic for complex ocean threats, but there are simple steps that you can take right now to be part of the solution.” And Adidas shares the same mindset. By 2024, Adidas is expecting to use 100% recycled plastic in the production of their shoes.
Adidas has been very innovative in their approach to reducing plastic waste. They have been using marine debris and trash collected from beaches to make their famous shoes. Parley has been working with the brand in order to make an impact since 2016 when they created their first performance products. In 2018, Alberto Uncini Manganelli, the General Manager of Adidas Running announced that they had produced over 6 million pairs of shoes with the use of recycled plastic.
The idea is to remove plastic debris from the environment and at the same time avoid the production of new plastic that will eventually pile up to create more and more debris if not recycled. Reducing the use of virgin polymers is a very significant ecological move for Adidas. It’s a very simple idea, yet it has the potential to produce an impact which will greatly benefit the environment. Adidas isn’t stopping here either; their expected product output with Parley in 2019 will be 11 million pairs of shoes using this recycled plastic waste. Hopefully, these big companies that are passionate about their efforts to take care of the environment can challenge other businesses rethink their decisions that can impact the future of our planet instead of just the commercial industry. Taking care of the planet is more than just a responsibility; it is thinking beyond the profit and income that a business can generate through their products and making sure that no innovation leaves a leaf unturned when it comes to ensuring sustainability.
Cyrill Gutsch, Founder and CEO of Parley for the Oceans makes the declaration "As the voice of our future, our youth make the most convincing teachers and best ambassadors, educating parents, industry leaders and politicians, and using media in the most native way. Youth are our biggest hope, since they are driven by the strongest of all motivations: their own survival. We are more than grateful for the generous support of our founding partner Adidas. It allows us to grow the movement into a superstorm of change.”
Parley’s Run for the Oceans campaign invites runners from all around the world to use this opportunity to raise awareness and generate funds needed to save and celebrate our oceans. Back in 2018, they were able to raise $1 million dollars through this initiative. In 2019, a whopping $1.5 million dollars is the goal. Just this month, runners signed up for the challenge and tracked their runs using the Runtastic app which resulted In Adidas donating $1 for every kilometer run in order to achieve that goal. The challenge included live events in New York, Shanghai and Barcelona to help runners connect and inspire them to participate. The proceeds go to Parley’s Ocean School, which educates people on the environment and marine conservation, and empowers them to become the generation of “Ocean Guardians.”
“If the oceans die, we die.” – Captain Paul Watson