Tag Archives: Nike

The Best Running Shoes Come From The Ocean

Adidas Parley UltraBoost

It could get busy around here.

The polarising struggle to argue out the sustainable consumption oxymoron often misses the point. Consuming more sustainably than we have done before has to be part of the real world incremental improvement process whilst we scramble for the step-change improvements that are really needed. Yes, that may very well not be quick enough to avoid catastrophic environmental change for many of ‘us’, but we are where we are, this is what we have, pragmatism has its uses and credit to those who are trying. Many aren’t.

Last week we saw Apple throwing its marketing nous behind Earth Day, this week we see Adidas (there is no alphabetical component here) upping its sustainability commitments and profile including ‘one million pairs of shoes made from up-cycled marine plastic in 2017.’

One million. Many people have little to no idea or the vaguest concept of the scale of industrial production, but such big numbers should make you sit up. One million pairs of running shoes made from up-cycled plastic has to be progress. Say it with a Dr Evil pinky finger to your mouth, I dare you.

Every second breath we take is generated by the Oceans,” commented Cyrill Gutsch, Founder of Parley for the Oceans.

We are now into the territory beyond climate denial but not quite mainstream consumerism (i.e. purchasing dictated by sustainability criteria). Yet. Apple, adidas and many other leadership companies are exploring key themes such as the circular economy and the Sustainable Development Goals and momentum is building week after week. Expect to see many more innovative products and processes conveyor belted out as the market is tested for acceptance.

Companies like Interface and their work in a similar vein to Adidas’ partnership with Parley with Net-Works are also even possibly more worthy of praise as they were way ahead of the pack, but alas, carpet tiles have yet to become a dominant brand category in your face 24/7 in the way the usual suspect consumer brands have.

For disclosure. I adore my adidas UltraBOOST running shoes. For many, many years I had always shown a strong brand affinity for Nike (whom I even worked as a football freestyler and tester of prototype football boots in my non-linear career story) or Asics for great running shoes and avoided Adidas after a bad experience before the New York marathon. I explored a pair when setting out to train for my first ironman distance triathlon 18 months ago (and survived in surprisingly good shape), and instantly fell in love with the astonishing levels of comfort for a performance running shoe.

Worth noting is how the bigger consumer facing brands are increasingly pushing out high profile product and communications. We are past tipping points now and heading into consistent mass market positioning rather than the niche deep green audiences of not so long ago. I hate to admit it, but this could get boring as sustainability innovation today becomes the norm of tomorrow.

For the brand lovers and runners out there check out the shoes and vote with your wallets for a great product now combined with great provenance. You could also check out www.adidas.com/runfortheoceans as week of support around World Oceans Day, June 5 -11.

For the sustainability people, and activists wanting to look beyond the communications frontage, adidas also shared their latest Sustainability Report.

*Oh, and if anybody at Adidas or any of their close friends should read this, and need a UltraBOOST size 9 product tester, I’m your man!




FIFA – ‘Show Me the Money’

The ‘beautiful game’ is free-falling through the ugly tree and hitting every branch.

Ugly football FIFA

Global football is witnessing another slow painful eruption, but this could yet be an big extinction level event for many that has been developing, and well overdue, for decades. Football is by no means isolated as Continue reading

An Apple a Day

iphone 3GSOver the past couple of months I’ve attended a fair few CSR related events which are great for garnering the latest best practice or meeting interesting people.

One particular unspoken theme keeps quietly nagging at me. We are constantly preaching to the converted, albeit a painfully slowly growing audience.

How do we as a collection of practitioners, champions, academics, business leaders and consumers take the next and toughest step to begin to win over more naysayers who unfortunately occupy the majority?

We (those who know) are more than aware of the tangibly empowering benefits of having the wider vision that CSR / sustainability lenses give and have increasingly credible data to back up our position, but I still feel we’re still desperately clawing to get to any genuine tipping point. The explosion in social media is helping our cause by exponentially generating the sharing of information but something tells me we need something else.

Is CSR the management equivalent of fruit and vegetables in our diets? Everybody knows how nutritious oranges, pears, cucumbers, carrots etc are for us but how many really eat enough of what we should? If we had the marketing creativity of a global agency and the resources to push our humble fuuit & veg in the same way they do for say Nike trainers, Apple for iPhones or Coca-Cola would we eat more healthily? Does the responsibility / ethics agenda need a innovative and sustained marketing campaign?

We need somebody new to shake up the language and attitude to enthuse a new audience.

Imagine a world where Apple branched out into management consultancy…

Who would you want to market a new and improved CSR?