Adidas is developing herbal synthetic leather, a new raw material for eco-friendly footwear

Adidas announces the development of a new type of ecological leather made of Mycelium, a very easy-to-grow mushroom species.

The new material is just one of the sustainability initiatives undertaken by Adidas, the company’s stated goal of eradicating plastic waste. Adidas has revealed that by 2020 it has produced 15 million pairs of footwear made from recycled plastic waste and promises to produce another 17 million pairs in 2021. The plastic used in footwear has been collected from beaches and coastal regions, states Adidas.


One of these examples is the Adidas Ultraboost running shoes from the Parley collection. They contain yarns made from oceanic plastic waste, which are embedded in laces, heel straps, heel lining and sock covers.

Beyond recycled plastic, Adidas has begun developing a new recycled cotton material and is already using recycled polyester in its product range – the company announced on Monday that more than 60% of its product range will contain the material starting in 2021.

The trend towards sustainability is increasingly active in the footwear industry. Recently, other companies such as Everlane and Nike have also added sustainable footwear products made from recycled materials.

Given the popularity of sneakers, especially in the US, where they are often seen as a status symbol, it is expected that the direction taken by Adidas will be followed by end consumers, who will see an additional reason to choose the company’s products.

Erin Smith
As our second lead editor, Erin Smith  provides guidance on the stories Nomad Labs reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers.  If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Erin. Erin received a BA and an MA from CSUF.