World’s First Shoes Made From Illegal Fishing Nets

The regrettable fact is that most shoes sold in the United States aren’t recyclable. Most shoe recycling programs are simply shoe redistribution programs. But there are some shoe manufacturers that believe in closed-loop recycling to reduce the use of virgin material and to prevent old shoes from becoming environmental waste. One manufacturer who just made a positive step is shoe giant Adidas. They have joined forces with Parley For The Oceans to unveiled their first prototype product—a shoe upper made entirely of yarns and filaments reclaimed and recycled from ocean waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets.

The use of gillnets has been outlawed by many conservation groups, including the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). Many have specifically expressed concerns over the impact of this fishing method on today’s marine ecosystems.

Gillnetting is commonly used by commercial and small-scale fishermen of all the oceans and in some freshwater and estuary areas. The vertical panels of gill netting are normally set in a straight line. Fish are caught by gill nets in three ways: held by the mesh around the body; by mesh slipping behind the hard bony flap covering and protecting the gills, or tangled by their teeth, spines or other protrusions without the body penetrating the mesh. Fish most often swim into a net and pass only partly through the mesh. When fish struggle to free themselves, the twine slips behind the gill cover and prevents escape.

To help stem the tide of illegal gillnet fishing, Sea Shepherd retrieved many illegal nets during a 110-day expedition that tracked an illegal poaching vessel. Adidas and Parley for the Oceans then used those nets to create the shoe sample.

“At Parley for the Oceans, we want to establish the oceans as a fundamental part of the debate around climate change,” said Gutsch. “Our objective is to boost public awareness and to inspire new collaborations that can contribute to protect and preserve the oceans. We are extremely proud that adidas is joining us in this mission and is putting its creative force behind this partnership to show that it is possible to turn ocean plastic into something cool.”

Eric Liedtke, Parley for the Oceans Steering Committee member, added, “We are incredibly excited to join Parley for the Oceans as they bring the cause of the oceans to the attention of the United Nations. adidas has long been a leader in sustainability, but this partnership allows us to tap into new areas and create innovative materials and products for our athletes. We invite everyone to join us on this journey to clean up the oceans.”

For the past year and half, a coalition of groups associated with Stop Gillnets Now have been closely monitoring the use of illegal gillnets. We can only hope that more people and manufacturers take action to protect our fish and safeguard the health of our oceans.

Photo: adidas Parley for the Oceans 



Sue H
Sue H7 months ago

Good to know, thanks.

Chen Boon Fook
Chen Boon Fook2 years ago

thanks for posting.

Tin Ling L
Tin Ling L2 years ago


George L
George L2 years ago


Chun Lai T
Chun Lai T2 years ago

Thanks for the info

Anne F
Anne F2 years ago

Love the idea of reusing the fibers from nets that have been seized

Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn3 years ago

i would like to thank adidas for Parley for the oceans, it's still good intaitive

Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn3 years ago

imagine if adidas gave their workers a living wage, they could affect positive change in their communties, self confidance would grow, other family members would no longer be fooled by trafficking as they would have enough to live off. it would be bettter for bodies of water if adidas did not dump all their toxic waste in rivers/ponds/lake/oceans that people rely on to live...but that would be bad for their profits, this product they can sell for 30% more as it so clean and green. pay workers a living wage so they can help the environment themselves all around them xoxoxox

Veronica Danie
.3 years ago


Sherene Lambert
Sherene Lambert3 years ago

hi- 5 to Adidas