Dezeen Magazine

Adidas and Parley for the Oceans unveil swimwear made from ocean plastic

Following the release of ocean-plastic shoes, Adidas has again teamed up with Parley for the Oceans to create a collection of swimwear that is also made from upcycled fishing nets and debris.

German sports brand Adidas worked alongside environmental initiative Parley for the Oceans to create the swimwear range, which is made from plastic waste deposited in coastal areas.

The ocean plastic is converted into a technical yarn fibre named Econyl, which offers the same properties as the regular nylon used to make swimwear.

According to Adidas design director Roger Hahn, the material is just as "cutting-edge as its polyester counterparts".

"It's important to remember Adidas is designing a whole range of swimwear from top elite swimmers to recreational users," said Hahn. "We conduct huge amounts of research and collect insights from our leading athletes but also have feedback sessions with swimming clubs."

"In swimming, it's important to differentiate between competition performances and those used in training," he continued. "For swimming training and the long hours of dedication it takes, it's important that our swimsuits are resistant to extended periods in chlorine water."

The designs are also inspired by the origins of the recycled yarn, with graphic prints in shades of blue intended to reflect a seascape.

Hahn believes it is the responsibility of big companies, such as Adidas, to help protect the oceans.

"It's possible to make over 1,000 swimsuits from a large fishing net," he said. "This was an initiative of passion. It drove us to know that we were innovating for all future athletes by guarding their oceans."

According to the sports giant, 50 per cent of all its swim apparel is already made from recycled material, and 76 per cent of its Pool collection incorporates recycled polyamide. The company hopes to eventually recycle all its swimsuits.

The swimwear is the latest project from the Adidas x Parley collaboration, which has previously the release of a pair of running shoes with uppers made using plastic recovered from the sea.

Parley founder Cyrill Gutsch said designers and brands need to wean themselves off the plastic "drug" during an interview with Dezeen. His company has also partnered with G-Star RAW to produce collections of denim garments made using ocean plastic.

This waste plastic is a growing concern among both environmentalists and designers, who have created products to help raise awareness of the problem and proposed a variety of solutions.

An Australian duo have created a floating rubbish bin that filters litter from marinas, while a 20-year-old inventor proposed a 100-kilometre array of floating barriers to help the cleanup effort.