In the 1950s, a "miracle fabric" came out. It was durable, inexpensive, and could be washed over and over again without losing its shape. We now know this fabric as "polyester."
Overall, it was a clothing retailer's dream, and polyester now is extremely common—with more than 50 million metric tonnes produced every year. However, the downside is that it's made from plastic, which means polyester doesn't biodegrade.
So even when it gets thrown out, it still sticks around, wreaking havoc in the soil and our oceans in the form of microplastic. It's estimated that 75% of microplastics in the Arctic come from polyester.
To reduce its reliance on the pollutive material, Adidas announced a new partnership with Spinnova.
Spinnova is a Finnish company focused on making low-emission, biodegradable, plastic-free fibers by utilizing wood pulp.
"Spinnova will help the retailer phase out virgin polyester and change how sports apparel will be made in the future. Its first garment to feature the sustainable fabric is its Adidas Outdoor Terrex HS1 Hoodie, designed for hikers," says Marwin Hoffman, Adidas Outdoor's global vice president of marketing.
By 2025, Adidas is aiming for 9/10 of their products to feature a sustainable technology, material, design, or manufacturing method, which will help the company to reduce the carbon footprint of each product by 15%.