On World Oceans Day (June 8), adidas and Parley for the Oceans kicked off Run For The Oceans 2019, a global initiative that raises funds to invest in the education of future generations on the issue of marine plastic pollution. Last year, Run For The Oceans raised $1 million, and this year, the initiative aims to raise $1.5 million.
In 2018, adidas created a global movement with Run For The Oceans, uniting nearly one million runners across the globe and raising $1 million for Parley for the Oceans. To date, the funds raised have helped directly educate and empower 10,000 youth and their families who are living in coastal areas affected by plastic pollution to take action as part of the Parley Ocean School Program. In 2018 alone, the partnership saw five million pairs of shoes created using recycled ocean plastic.
“Run for the Oceans is an opportunity to celebrate the oceans, a place where runners unite to dedicate their time and energy and generate investment toward saving our oceans—this year, for our new activist platform, a global stage for the next generation of creators, leaders and thinkers,” said Cyrill Gutsch, founder and CEO of Parley for the Oceans, in a statement. “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.”
In 2019, adidas is upping the pace of change. The introduction of the 2019 Parley range will see the company produce a landmark 11 million pairs of shoes using upcycled marine plastic waste. In addition, Run For The Oceans this year will unite more runners in more locations than ever before to reach the goal of raising $1.5 million. For every kilometer completed between June 8 and 16, adidas will contribute $1 to Parley Ocean School programs, with every dollar going toward the next phase of the partnership with the development and launch of the Parley youth activist platform.
With the aim of engaging more young people than ever before and inspiring long-term behavior change, the platform will host a digital curriculum that equips schoolchildren with the skills, tools and knowledge required to protect the planet’s oceans. It will also act as a digital space where young people can come together, share ideas and gain access to events, mentors and tools. Signups opened for the Parley youth activist platform on World Ocean Day, with the goal of bringing the Parley Ocean School Program to a global level.
“The marine plastic crisis we’re facing has become critically urgent. We effect it daily through the plastics we use and throw away. Every minute, the equivalent of a dump truck of plastic waste enters our oceans, and by 2050, this could mean there may be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans. We know the stats, and we’re aware of the issue. Now, we need action,” said Alberto Uncini Manganelli, general manager of adidas’ running division, in a statement. “adidas x Parley has helped spread awareness of the crisis facing our oceans but also contributed to finding solutions. Back in 2016, we created the first performance products with recycled ocean plastics and went on to produce 6 million pairs of adidas x Parley shoes by 2018, with a goal of making 11 million units this year, intercepting vast amounts of plastic from entering our oceans. We’ve come a long way and won’t stop there. As a business, we have committed ourselves to use only 100 percent recycled polyester by 2024. We are challenging our business and those around us to think about the decisions they make and how they impact the future, of not just our industry but our planet.”
Through their partnership, adidas and Parley have intercepted vast amounts of plastic waste from marine environments and coastal communities, turning Ocean Plastic into sportswear since 2015. Timed to coincide with Run For The Oceans 2019, adidas introduces its Alphabounce+ Parley and a full range of new sports apparel, ambitiously driving toward its 2024 goal of eliminating the use of virgin polyester from all products.
The range is crafted from upcycled plastic waste, delivering eco-innovation and style without compromising on performance. Pro-Dye has also been used in the manufacturing process—it has the added aesthetic effect of creating a unique material pattern in each piece. The Alphabounce+ Parley is designed with maximum support and comfort in mind, with tuned forging, a welded lacing system and an optimized fit. The apparel includes the men’s Parley 4KRFT Shorts and women’s Parley Believe This Tight, both made from at least 75 percent upcycled plastic waste.
Run For The Oceans 5K was held in New York on June 8 and will be held in Los Angeles on June 16 and virtually around the globe from June 8-16. Waste360 Editorial Director Mallory Szczepanski, along with more than 3,000 runners, participated in the New York run, which began with a pre-race yoga class with Krystin Budig and sustainability panel with volleyball star Alix Klineman and Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe and ended with an after party that included a reusable bag making station, an adidas shoe testing station, a stage with live music, a man-made beach, food and beverages, a walkthrough video exhibit and more.
By the end of the first day of the 2019 campaign, Run For The Oceans reached its goal of $1.5 million, with more than 4 million kilometers completed. This year's campaign is on pace to shatter last year’s records of 12.4 million kilometers covered by close to 1 million runners worldwide.
Flip through this gallery to see some photos from the event.