Earth-friendly shoes: Adidas developing sustainable leather alternative made from fungus

Credit: Gunavibool/Prair
Credit: Gunavibool/Prair

The athletic-wear company [Adidas] announced on [December 28] that it’s working on a new material, a plant-based leather that will be used to make shoes. The leather alternative is made from mycelium, which is part of a fungus.

Adidas said it is working on the plant-based leather with partners, but did not announce when shoes made with the material would join its lineup.

The company began offering a vegan version of one of its most popular shoes, the Stan Smith, in 2020, and has committed to banning fur from its products.

The new material is one of several sustainability initiatives for Adidas, which has stated a goal to end plastic waste. Adidas revealed that in 2020, it produced 15 million pairs of shoes made from recycled plastic waste and said its goal is to produce 17 million pairs next year.


The plastic used in the shoes was collected from beaches and coastal regions, Adidas said.

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Beyond upcycled plastic, Adidas has started developing a new recycled cotton material and is already using recycled polyester in its product lineup — the company announced [December 28] that more than 60% of its product range will contain the material beginning in 2021.

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