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Adidas to Develop Custom, Recyclable Sports Apparel

Adidas sporting goods may never need to be thrown out again. The retailer, in its latest eco-friendly effort, announced a new plan called Sport Infinity, for what it calls “a new breed of sporting goods” made from an inexhaustible 3-D super-material that can be recycled over and over (and over) again.

The super-material makes it possible for a pair of boots to be restyled as often as the wearer desires in order to keep up with the latest trends or respond to their current needs.

Each item, including the boots of Leo Messi, Argentinean professional soccer player, will be broken down and remade through a waste-free and adhesive-free process, offering consumers plenty of room for personalization.

“I am proud that Adidas is working to make sure that all of their boots, including mine, are being made in a way that protects the environment,” Messi said. “For me, this is the future of football.”

Sport Infinity is led by Adidas and funded by the European Commission, which unites a variety of industry and academic experts, combining used sports equipment with extra materials from other industries as well. So sportswear could be made from carbon used in aircraft manufacturing or even fibers from boots that scored a winning World Cup goal.

The project was launched in June with nine other industry leaders including, BASF, KISKA, FILL, Friedrich-Alexander Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg in Germany, the Center for Technical Textiles at the University of Leeds, OECHSLER, Center Europeen Des Textiles Innovants, Hypercliq and SportsMethod Ltd.

“Following the announcement of Speedfactory and our partnership with Parley for the Oceans, Sport Infinity is the next step in our commitment to innovation and sustainability,” said Glenn Bennett, Adidas executive board member of global operations. “This project will close the sustainability loop, creating a high-performance product that can always be recycled.”

Speedfactory is a three-year research project, launched in 2013, that aims to influence the future of manufacturing and develop innovative products and new production technologies.

In June, Adidas partnered with Parley for the Oceans to raise awareness about the state of the earth’s oceans and to collaborate on projects with the goal of protecting and conserving them. With this partnership, Adidas created the world’s first shoe with an upper made completely from yarns and filaments recycled from ocean waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets.