3D-Printed Shoe Made from Ocean Plastic Waste

Adidas and Parley for the Oceans are rethinking design, material use, and 3D-printing in their running shoe made from ocean plastic.

A team of partners, including Parley for the Oceans and adidas, has created an innovative shoe, the upper part of which is made entirely of yarns and fila- ments reclaimed and recycled from ocean waste and deep-sea fishing nets. Removing more than 72 km of illegally abandoned deep-sea netting, and returning thousands of illegally captured toothfish and other bycatch to the sea in the process, Adidas and Parley for the Oceans are turning ocean debris into a valuable material for the fashion industry.

Since launching the prototype, Adidas and Parley for the Oceans have worked to convert old fishing nets and ocean plastic into fibers used to make a performance shoe. Adidas and Parley are working on a consumer-ready range of footwear that will hit the market by the end of 2016.

Relevance of solution

Launched at COP21, the concept shoe brought attention to the issues of plastic pollution and illegal fishing activity, demonstrating how industry and organizations can work together to create new sustainable materials and products and act to combat ocean plastic pollution.

Triple Bottom Line


The solution helps repurpose some of the estimated 4 to 12 million metric tons of plastic waste that enter the oceans each year.1


Removing fishing nets from the oceans and along coasts helps reduce plastic pollution and damage to marine ecosystems, on which coastal communities depend.


The overall financial damage of plastics to marine ecosystems is conservatively estimated at $13 billion each year.2


  1. Jambeck, J. R. et al. “Plastic Waste Inputs from Land into the Ocean.” Science Magazine. (2015)
  2. UNEP. “Plastic Waste Causes Financial Damage of US$13 Billion to Marine Ecosystems Each Year as Concern Grows Over Microplastics.” (2014)