The three iconic stripes have become synonymous with German fashion and sportswear company Adidas AG.
While the stripes are among the World’s 100 Most Valuable Brands today, with an estimated worth of US$12 billion, few appreciate the logo was born from function and practicality rather than aesthetics. Way before the stripes became an identity for the brand, the stripes, which spanned the lateral and medial sides, were a way of binding the shoe together and provided structure to the shoe.
Ever since its founding in 1949, Adidas has proven its strong ability to reinvent itself repeatedly while also marrying form and function throughout its business.
The company has disrupted itself and the industry through innovation. After years of using a web of specialised suppliers, often spanning different cities or countries across Asia, Adidas decided to disrupt the traditional model of sneaker – making that was largely unchanged over a period spanning 40 years.
The company invested heavily in robotics, which paved the way to the pioneering concept of the Speedfactory. Adidas has re- invented manufacturing by dramatically cutting down production and distribution times from several months to several weeks and brought production back on-shore. Two state-of-the-art Speedfactories were built, one in Germany and one in the U.S., allowing Adidas to get closer to their customers.
Each year, an estimated 20 billion pairs of shoes are produced with approximately 300 million pairs ending up in landfills after they have been worn. While the shoes may decompose in the landfill, they release toxic chemicals in the process that harm the environment, with some portions of the shoe lasting as long as 1,000 years in a landfill. This unfortunate reality is why Adidas and Parley, an environmental organisation for oceans, have teamed up to re-think design and material use, giving rise to an innovative and sustainable shoe while setting a new bar for the everyday running shoe.
The Adidas x Parley for the Oceans shoe, features yarns and filaments from reclaimed ocean waste, reclaimed illegal gill nets and plastic collected from beaches.
The collaboration has helped bring attention to the global issue of plastic pollution and illegal fishing activity in the oceans, while demonstrating how industry and environmental organisations can work together to create sustainable solutions to combat ocean plastic pollution.
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