It’s easy to knock those big corporations.
Especially when you find out about some dodgy tax dealing on the news, or a nefarious employment practice or hear some talking head expound about their feather light commitment to the country and how these companies are only here for the low corporation tax and they’ll be gone if anyone says boo. Yeah it’s really easy to knock them after that.
It can sometimes seem like these companies really don’t give a damn about anything beyond profit.
But that narrative can really be a drag because you know that it’s not the whole story and to constantly define something by its roughest edge means we can lose perspective on its overall value.
And that’s why nice to hear a good news environmental story about one of those big global companies every now and again. And Adidas have popped up on our radar a few times in this respect. They really seem to have a genuine interest in reducing waste and protecting the environment.
Last year saw the German sportswear company produce runners made from recycled ocean waste that could lead to 11 million plastic bottles being removed from the ocean by the end of 2017.
Evil corporations don’t do that.
Now they’ve gone and invented a shoe made from biodegradable artificial spider silk that will melt away when you’re done with them. Yes, when you’ve gotten your fair use out of them and it’s time to part ways, these new Adidas running shoes will decompose in the sink. Incredible!
So how does it work?
Apparently once you’ve worn them out (the company suggests you can get two years of use), you immerse the shoes in water, add a digestion enzyme called proteinase, and let it work for 36 hours. It will cause the protein-based yarn to break down, and you’ll be able to drain the liquefied shoes down the sink – everything except the foam sole, which will still require disposal.
Adidas says the shoes are 15 percent lighter than comparable running shoes, while remaining strong and durable. They are non-allergenic and vegan. And, if you’re wondering, they will not melt on your feet in the rain because the proteinase enzyme is required for biodegradation.
A step in the right direction
It’s not a perfect solution, the foam sole would still go to landfill. A spokesperson for Adidas told the Huffington Post that if the shoes go into production, a different and more sustainable sole “might be taken into consideration.”
And of course questions remain about the dissolved substance and how environmentally friendly that is – but it’s still encouraging to see a huge company like Adidas continuing to move and think in environmentally conscious ways.