adidas has always known sport. For over 70 years, the global brand has remained a go-to for professionals and sports enthusiasts, maintaining a 'finger on the pulse' approach that is a testament to its enduring popularity and success. Innovation, social justice, forward-thinking designs that marry aesthetic and performance quality. It's adidas' bread and butter. It only makes sense then, that the brand is taking the next step in its sustainable future; debuting the adidas x Parley Ocean Plastic Tennis collection to the backdrop of one of Australia's most iconic settings.
Floating roughly 10km off the coast of far north Queensland and perched atop the world's largest coral reef system, adidas has taken to the Great Barrier Reef debut the new collection; with a full-size sustainable tennis court in a bid to help End Plastic Waste. Working side-by-side with Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and one of the Authority’s approved tug and barge operators; the top surface of a working barge has been transformed in an effort to get more Australians talking about eco-innovative solutions to one of today’s most pressing environmental challenges.
Speaking of the new adidas x Parley tennis collection, adidas Pacific Senior Director of Brand, Shannon Morgan said, “at adidas we believe through sport we have the power to change lives. We live this purpose everyday by looking at all possibilities to include and unite people in sport to help create a more sustainable world.
It's a vision the brand is deeply committed to, with Morgan sharing "by 2024, we’ll eliminate virgin polyester in our products completely and use recycled polyester wherever possible." With the Australian Open launching into full swing on Monday, adidas' pledge to a more sustainable future – particularly in the realm of tennis – is a bright beacon for the change that is possible. The new range, which adidas sporting greats Ian Thorpe, Jess Fox, Nathan Cleary and Steph Claire Smith donned while aboard the ocean tennis court has been inspired by the colours of the Great Barrier Reef; featuring striking coral reds seeping into deep, royal blues.
In celebration of the adidas, Parley Ocean Plastic launch, RUSSH spoke with Smith about the importance eco-innovative solutions, the surreal experience of being out on the barge and her hopes for the future of sustainability and sportswear.
More than ever, some of the world’s leading brands are shifting their focus to an environment-first approach. How important is it for you to be working with a brand like adidas who have made this a priority?
It’s super important! We all play our part in the issue and can all play a part in the solution. And that’s what adidas is doing with their sustainability commitments. I’m proud to work alongside adidas that thinks consciously and sustainably about the future. I’ve seen this with my own following too, consumers are wanting to support brands and individuals who do their best in standing for something that’s meaningful to them – and I think everyone is happy to support brands going more sustainable because we are all aware of how things need to change.
This new tennis apparel range is made with Parley Ocean Plastic while still maintaining the high-performance quality adidas is renowned for. What message does this send to consumers who have been looking for a brand that offers the best of both worlds?
I think some people shy away from environmental issues because they think it is too hard to live a sustainable lifestyle … but it’s not. And it’s not about being perfect either. But small changes can add up. adidas make such incredible products that are made with Parley Ocean Plastic as well as with recycled materials that give consumers an easy choice.
What was it like being out on the barge ?
It was so much fun and such a spectacular spot for tennis! It had to be spectacular to make noise and raise awareness of the problem with plastic pollution.
What is your favourite piece from the new adidas tennis apparel range?
I love the coloured singlet and skirt as a set - it’s such an incredible design. The colours were inspired by the Great Barrier Reef, another reason why the event was where it was – I think that’s so cool. It’s a statement set!
What are your hopes for the future of sustainability and sportswear?
The quality of the product is amazing and I’m so happy knowing that adidas are going to continue to make more and more of their products with sustainable innovations. I hope that all other brands, sports brand or not, have similar ideas to do the same!
The adidas tennis court surface will be fully recycled into a sports court, donated to a local Townsville school, paving the way for school kids to unite through sport and play a part in creating a more sustainable world. The new adidas x Parley tennis apparel range is available online now at adidas.com/tennis and in select adidas stores at Emporium, Highpoint and onsite at the Australian Open from January 17th.