Adidas has announced its game plan for Earth Day this year, and the brand hopes it will have soccer fans, players and ocean conservationists alike screaming GOOOOOOOOOOAL!
Parley for the Oceans, a creative force dedicated to protecting the oceans, and Adidas are partnering to “upcycle” plastic reclaimed from ocean waste into limited-edition Major League Soccer uniforms that will be worn by all 23 MLS teams over Earth Day weekend, Friday, April 20, through Sunday, April 22. This effort ties in neatly with the official Earth Day campaign of 2018, “A World Without Plastic Pollution.”
The jerseys, each made from a material created from coastal plastic waste that was reclaimed before it reached the ocean, will be available for purchase on the Adidas and MLS online stores.
The plastic is sourced from trash found in beaches and coastal communities, then reworked into technical fibers that can be used for apparel or footwear.
Parley, Adidas and MLS first collaborated on a smaller scale in 2017 for Earth Day, but this year’s project has grown to include all teams.
“In partnership with Adidas, we’re excited to bring the MLS Parley kits to all 23 clubs as part of this season’s MLS Works Greener Goals initiative,” said JoAnn Neale, chief administrative and social responsibility officer for Major League Soccer.
Adidas will also leverage the partnership via augmented reality with a Snap QR code, in-stadium activations, a beach clean-up in Los Angeles on April 15, and a partnership with Surfrider in Los Angeles.
Upcycling or otherwise reusing ocean waste is a trend that seems to be picking up steam.
Parley recently partnered with Soma to create reusable, BPA-free glass bottles with an ocean-plastic sleeve made from 90 percent ocean waste, repurposing the equivalent of two plastic bottles.
Martha’s Vineyard- based company Norton Pointe creates sunglasses made from ocean plastic as a part of its “Sea Plastic Differently” campaign. The sustainable skateboard company Bureo makes skateboards from recycled fishing nets, their first board was aptly named the “Minnow Cruiser.”
The partnership between MLS, Adidas, and Parley represents everything that is beneficial in cause-based collaborations: innovation, consumer reach, consumer interest range. The partnership is also dedicated to setting new industry standards with a focus on creativity and collaboration.
“Creating change and playing soccer feel very similar. You strategize, you dive into the game and give everything you have. That’s why you never truly lose. You just get better and better,” says Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans. “The good thing with this partnership: with all 23 Major League Soccer teams flying our jerseys, the oceans always win.”