Adidas Futurecraft 4D Shoes Production Life Cycle
11 March 2018
Design Life Cycle of Adidas FutureCraft 4D (Raw Materials)
Consumerism continues to decrease the awareness of materials needed, energy used, and waste emitted through different stages of a product’s life cycle. This section of the paper focuses on what materials go into the production, distribution, and waste management of Adidas FutureCraft 4D. Adidas FutureCraft 4D was designed last year and just released this year in January and February in extremely limited quantities. The sneaker features an usual Adidas Primeknit upper but with a 3D printed sole. It is the first sneaker ever to be designed and crafted using 3D printing technology. The sole is crafted by 3D printing technology Digital Light Synthesis developed by Silicon Valley firm Carbon. The process creates 3D objects by mixing light and oxygen with programmable liquid resins. The Primeknit material of the upper is also differed from how ordinary sneakers are made. While sports shoes are usually made from multiple separate pieces, the Primeknit method knits the entire shoe upper at once. This knitting method allows Adidas to know the exact amount of yarns needed in every part of the shoe, thus creating no extra materials left over. Adidas acquired a variety of materials in different stages of its life cycle and textile waste being the biggest controversy in the industry, it is important for companies to continue the research on reusable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly materials.
Adidas continues to increase the use of recycled and sustainable materials throughout the past years in hope to reach the company’s goal of reducing product’s impact on the environment. As listed in the United States patent for Adidas Primeknit upper, some of the natural fibers used in the shoe upper are cotton, wool alpaca, hemp, flax, coconut fibers, and silk. Synthetic fibers are polymer-based fibers including nylon, polyester, rayon, Spandex, and Kevlar. Adidas outsourced most of their production. They work with around 800 independent factories throughout the world. Adidas FutureCraft 4D is manufactured in Germany and most of the materials are sourced mainly in Germany as well. Not only does Adidas make sure that the materials they use are environmentally friendly, they also claim to ensure the land use, energy and consumption, animal welfare, and labor condition are fair. Adidas source their organic cotton from Better Cotton Initiative’s subsidiary factory. MHLV, Hugo Boss, Nike, and IKEA supply are other notable members of the BCI. Recycled polyester is also largely used in Adidas product, recycled polyester is synthetic fiber based on post-consumer waste such as plastic bottles and used garments. Adidas increase the use of recycled nylon instead of standard nylon. While standard nylon is made from petroleum, recycled nylon is made for post-industrial waste including discarded fishing nets left in the ocean. After the raw material acquisition, Adidas spun and twisted different fibers to create composite fibers and fused yarns. Some major composite fibers include para-aramid fiber, meta-aramides, Dyneema® fiber, carbon fiber, and glass fiber. Some major yarns include shrinking yarns, stainless steel yarns, and fused yarns. Stainless steel yarn contains fibers made of a blend of nylon or polyester and steel. Shrinking yarn is a dual-component yarn. The outer is a shrinking material, and the inner is a non-shrinking yarn such as polyester or nylon. Other yarns used in the manufacturing of the shoe uppers are just luminescent or reflecting yarns. Fused yarns are especially important for the production of shoe upper. Fused yarns are a mixture of a thermoplastic yarn and polyester or nylon. There are three types of use yarn, a thermoplastic yarn surrounded by a non-thermoplastic yarn, a non-thermoplastic yarn surrounded by thermoplastic yarn, and pure fuse yarn of just thermoplastic material. The FutureCraft 4D upper is all about different techniques of knitting and layering yarns. The mechanical and physical properties are determined by the fiber’s cross-section. As for the shoe sole, the major materials required for Digital Light Synthesis are just digital light, oxygen permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins according to Carbon, the firm who developed the technology. After raw material acquisition and production stage, we now move on to the distribution stage.
During the distribution process, Adidas needed fossil fuels to transport its product throughout the world. According to Energy.gov, fossil energy sources, including oil, coal and natural gas, are non-renewable resources that formed when prehistoric plants and animals died and were buried by layers of rock throughout a long period of time. Fossil fuels are finally formed after millions of years. They are extracted out of the ground by drilling down into the earth and pumping them out for the purpose of powering gas engine transportation such as cars and airplanes. Fossil fuel usage is also one of the major impact on the environment in a product’s life cycle. Over the past 20 years, nearly three-fourths of human-caused emissions came from the burning and refining fossil fuels. Although the use of fossil fuel during the distribution process is inevitable, Adidas puts effort into minimizing it. Adidas does not transport the goods themselves, instead, they partner with third-party carriers to transport their goods. In order to reduce environmental risks, they closely examine third-party transporter on their sustainability activities and plans through their ISO 14001 certification. However, it is nearly impossible to track the fossil fuel consumption from Adidas. Adidas also insist the use of ground transportation for most domestic orders and limit the use of air transportation. Since the FutureCraft 4D is extremely limited to around 300 pairs domestically on the first release, fewer carriers were used and therefore lee distance was traveled. Though Adidas do plan mass general releases in the future. During packaging, the sneaker boxes are made from recycled paper and plastic. Normal Adidas boxes are only made from recycled paper and little included plastic, but they added plastic design for the FutureCraft 4D to complement the limited luxurious feel for the sneaker. Although the product is already made and distribute, more raw materials are used during the end-of-life stage of life cycle.
At the end of the life cycle, Adidas design recycle station of boxes for recycling and waste management. In the effort to reduce post-consumer waste, Adidas launched multiple recycling programs such as the Take Back Programme: Make Every Thread Count. Raw materials are also acquired at this stage for the boxes Adidas designed to let consumers recycle. The boxes are designed using recycled paper and “waste materials” such as employees old clothes and garment pieces left over during the production process. The consumers drop off used-clothing and apparel from any brand into these boxes. The items are then sent to the distribution center. Adidas partners up with I:CO, a specialized company that sorts products according to different quality criteria. Most products can still be worn are send to second-hand market. Unwearable products are recycled into secondary raw material for new products. Adidas claims that less than 10% of the materials cannot be recycled and is sent for disposal, though there is no sufficient information on what materials can and cannot be recycled.
Adidas acquired a lot of different materials in all stages of life cycle. Natural and synthetic fibers like cotton, wool alpaca, hemp, flax, coconut fibers, silk, nylon, polyester, rayon, Spandex, and Kevlar are acquired before the production stage. The fibers are than spun and twisted into composite fibers and fused yarns in the beginning of the manufacture stage. During production readily fibers and yarns are knitted in the exact amount at once for the shoe upper. The sole is constructed by 3D printing technique Digital Light Synthesis using light, oxygen permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins. After the shoe is manufactured, they are packaged into shoe boxes that are made by recycled paper and plastic. The sneakers are then loaded onto gas engine vehicles, which are powered by non-renewable natural resources - fossil fuels. During the recycle and waste management stage, Adidas uses recycled paper and collected-waste materials to set up recycle boxes for their recycle program. For the materials used, Adidas claims to ensure the quality and eco-friendliness of the fibers. As for right now, Adidas states that 90% of their products are recyclable. They aims to continue increase the percentage. This paper reveals life cycle of the product so that all the materials used behind the production can be visible to others. Since a lot of industry today uses materials that could damage the environment that we lived in, it is important to raise people’s awareness on the life cycle of a product.
Lang, Astrid Karin, and Stefan Tamm. Shoe Upper. US 20130269209 , United States Patent and Trademark Office, 17 Oct. 2013, http://pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?PageNum=0&docid=20130269209&IDKey=619158AE248D&HomeUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fappft.uspto.gov%2Fnetacgi%2Fnph-Parser%3FSect1%3DPTO1%2526Sect2%3DHITOFF%2526d%3DPG01%2526p%3D1%2526u%3D%25252Fnetahtml%25252FPTO%25252Fsrchnum.html%2526r%3D1%2526f%3DG%2526l%3D50%2526s1%3D%25252220130269209%252522.PGNR.%2526OS%3DDN%2F20130269209%2526RS%3DDN%2F20130269209
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Alvarez, Edgar. “Adidas Futurecraft 4D Shoes: The Fourth Dimension Is Hype.” Engadget. Engadget, 14 Apr. 2017, https://www.engadget.com/2017/04/14/adidas-futurecraft-4d/
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DES 40A Winter 2018
February 31, 2018
Embodied Energy Used to Produce Adidas Futurecraft 4D Shoes
As trends evolve over time, athleisure wear has become one of the most popular styles amongst society, one of which including comfortable shoe wear. Fashionable tennis shoes have gained mass popularity among consumers, because comfort and style has become the latest trend. Famous shoe brands, such as Adidas and Nike, are addressing consumer needs and have been creating comfortable statement shoes. However, Adidas is taking their shoe processing to a whole new level and is creating a more innovative approach to shoe development. Adidas’ Futurecraft 4D shoes are shoe unlike any other due to the fact that they are 3D printed. Adidas is innovating their shoe manufacturing to increase production efficiency and become more conservative with their use of energy and materials. Adidas Futurecraft 4D shoes will impact the way athletic shoewear is produced, because during the embodied energy of its life cycle, Adidas uses Digital Light Synthesis and CLIP technology to conserve a significant amount of energy consumed during manufacturing.
As modern day society advances in technology, the German shoe brand, Adidas, is taking its product manufacturing to a whole new level by producing 3D printed shoes. As of December 2016, Adidas launched the Futurecraft 4D shoes and currently distributes at only three retail locations, which are found in the New York City area (Krastz). Adidas Futurecraft 4D shoes are unlike any other shoe brand, because they are producing 3D printed shoe soles and are designed to use reduced amounts of energy compared to other shoe brands. The German shoe brand is embarking on an interesting technique that creates a unique design and is an innovative approach to conserving energy use.
Other than its 3D printed sole, Adidas Futurecraft 4D shoes are produced with many raw materials used in their primeknit fabric. Adidas Primeknit material is composed of raw materials, including natural fibers like: cotton, wool, alpaca fur, hemp, flax, water, and silk (United States Patent and Trademark Office 11). The Primeknit material is also made up of secondary raw materials, such as: nylon, polyester, rayon, spandex, liquid resins, and thermoplastic fused yarns (United States Patent and Trademark Office 11). Throughout each extraction of the raw materials used, there are large amounts of mechanical and chemical energy that is consumed during the process. Cotton begins at farms where irrigation is the main energy consumer and fossil fuels, like diesel, are used to motorize tractors and machinery (Cotton Info). Wool utilizes mechanical energy by shearing ewes or rams, carding, and then being spun into threads through machineries (Textile School). Harvesting hemp fiber is a very delicate process, because hemp farmers use great amounts of mechanical energy when harvesting in the fields. Harvesting hemp fiber also uses chemical energy when being processed through “chemical retting, being decorticated, scutched, hackled, and combed – processes that separate and clean the component parts so each can be used” (Innvista). Manufacturing flax mainly uses chemical energy by “separating the fibers from the woody stalk through using either water or chemicals, but these are ultimately washed away and are not part of the finished material”(Advameg “Linen”). Mechanical energy is the main investment when processing silk, because it is collected by hand and is put onto rollers by machines (Advameg “Silk”). Nylon is a secondary raw material that utilizes both mechanical and chemical energy, because the material is made from nylon chips being melted and is drawn into a spinneret by machines (Woodford). Polyester is also a synthetic material that uses mainly chemical energy during its manufacturing. The secondary material is “derived from coal, air, water, and petroleum” and goes through melt spinning and polymerization to become a fabric material (Advameg “Polyester”). During the life cycle of Adidas Futurecraft 4D shoes, the embodied energy during the raw materials acquisition requires great amounts of both mechanical and chemical consumption.
In order to make a positive impact on the environment and conserve more energy during the manufacturing process, Adidas Futurecraft shoes produce their shoe soles with Digital Light Synthesis and Carbon’s proprietary CLIP technology (Adidas). In collaboration with Silicon Valley’s Carbon technology, Adidas uses carbon 3D printers to produce the sole of their Futurecraft 4D shoes. The printing process goes through a two stage approach, using Digital Light synthesis and CLIP technology. Digital Light Synthesis is a method of printing less rigid and more consistent end products and CLIP technology is “a photochemical process that carefully balances light and oxygen” (Carbon Inc.). In order to produce a flexible and durable product, the sole is pioneered with highly advanced machines that use only light, oxygen, and light-sensitive polymer liquid resin (Carbon Inc.). The light is projected through an “oxygen- permeable window into a reservoir of UV-curable resin” (Sawyer). Once the programmable liquid has risen from the reservoir, heat is used to set the sole (Sawyer). Not only is Carbon 3D printing technology economically more efficient, but there are also low costs of embodied energy used since it is has a “more reduced amount of processing steps compared to traditional manufacturing” (Sawyer). The other half of the shoe is made up of Adidas Primeknit material and uses mechanical energy when produced. The Primeknit material goes through a Stoll CMS 530 HP machine, which is a high productivity computerised flat knitting machine, and is processed through a moving carriage, yarn feeders, and needle beds (Knitting Industry). I was unable to find information on how they manufacture the shoe together, but one would assume that Futurecraft 4D shoes are assembled by machines in their current factories in Germany. Not only is 3D printing a unique method of making shoes, Adidas is creating a more innovative approach to manufacturing that helps conserve embodied energy.
In order to transport many of raw materials used in manufacturing and the Adidas Futurecraft 4D shoes itself, there are high amounts of fossil fuels used to motorize airplanes and ships. The raw materials used for the Futurecraft 4D shoes are shipped to Germany for the manufacturing process via airplane or by ship. After the manufacturing process has been done, the shoes are exported from Germany to its 3 locations in the United States, which are KITH, Packer Shoes, and Sneakersnstuff (Sneakernews) or is shipped to its online orders. Since materials and products are shipped overseas, it comes at great cost of using of fossil fuels, like petroleum gas. As of now, Adidas shoes are produced only in Germany in their machine factories, called “Speedfactories”, and is hoping to establish more of them within the United States, including in Atlanta, Georgia(Beilen). By locating more of the Adidas Speedfactories in the United States, it will help reduce the amount of energy used to transport Adidas products to United States consumers.
The use, re-use, and maintenance portion of the Adidas Futurecraft 4D shoe life cycle utilizes very low amounts of embodied energy. Adidas Futurecraft 4D shoes are primarily intended to be worn as shoes, so the main source of energy comes from humans. Since the 3D printed shoes are constructed to be durable and long lasting, shoe maintenance is done by hand, considering a low cost of energy.
In order to be a brand that is efficient with energy, materials, and waste emissions, Adidas established a shoe recycling process, called “Adidas Make Every Thread Count”. Essentially, consumers can donate their shoes at a designated station located in any Adidas Distribution Centre. Once bin get completely full with used shoes, the donations are sorted based upon the different quality criteria they fall under or they are recycled into a secondary raw material. If the pair of shoes are recycled, they become a feedstock to new products. The donated shoes that still hold value are distributed to individuals or organizations that support microenterprises in developing countries or is completely recycled (Adidas-Group). The main source of energy during this process is done by human labor, but is also used by machines to recycle non reusable shoes. The Adidas Make Every Thread Count organization continues the shoe brand’s attempts to being a more ecologically friendly company.
Adidas is innovating the shoe business by altering their manufacturing methods through a modern approach. By using highly advanced technologies and lower uses of embodied energy, Adidas is becoming a more economically and environmentally efficient shoe brand. Their creative method to making athletic shoewear is not only a unique style, but also encourages the conservation of embodied energies.
Adidas. “Adidas Futurecraft.” Adidas US, www.adidas.com/us/futurecraft.
Adidas Group. “End-of-Life.” Adidas Group, www.adidas-group.com/en/sustainability/products/end-of-life/.
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Advameg. “Polyester.” How Products Are Made, 2018, www.madehow.com/Volume-2/Polyester.html.
Advameg. “Silk.” (n.d.). How Products Are Made, 2018, http://www.madehow.com/Volume-2/Silk.html
Beilin, Holly. “Adidas Prepares to Open Its First U.S.-Based Robotic Manufacturing Speedfactory In Georgia.” Hypepotamus, 5 Oct. 2017, hypepotamus.com/news/adidas-speedfactory/.
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Krastz Roger. “Adidas Announces Release Date of Futurecraft 4D Sneakers - XXL.” XXL Mag, 12 Jan. 2018, www.xxlmag.com/lifestyle/2018/01/adidas-announces-release-date-of-futurecraft-4d-sneakers/.
Sawyer, Jonathan. “What Is Digital Light Synthesis and Why Is adidas Using It?” Highsnobiety, Highsnobiety, 16 June 2017, www.highsnobiety.com/2017/04/07/adidas-digital-light-synthesis/.
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Woodford, Chris. “Nylon - The science of synthetic textiles.” Explain that Stuff, 7 Feb. 2018, www.explainthatstuff.com/nylon.html.
DES 40A Winter 2018
15 March 2018
Examination of Adidas Futurecraft 4D Shoes: Wastes and Emissions
While sustainable design drives innovation within the design industry, the footwear industry is not far behind. Big name brands concerned with creating sustainable products, such as Adidas, have invested their earnings in 3D printing, or additive manufacturing production. This process significantly reduces excess material waste and need for additional processing. With a twist on 3D printing, Adidas produced their new Futurecraft 4D shoes through a process known as Digital Light Synthesis. This process, developed by Carbon, uses digital light projection, oxygen permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins to create Adidas’ beautiful, athletic performance footwear. With such revolutionary technology, it is easy to indulge in our consumer culture and neglect the chemical footprint we leave on our planet. As a company that is constantly taking measures to improve their sustainability performance, Adidas pays close attention to their pollutant releases. By examining the wastes and emissions that are released throughout the entire lifecycle of the Futurecraft 4D shoes, from the cotton field extractions to the mills for garment production, we can see that Adidas’ partnership with Carbon has reduced material waste and additional processing, but can still improve on eliminating their overuse of fossil fuels, massive energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions.
At the very start of the shoe production process, Adidas constructs the upper exterior of their Futurecraft 4D shoes with an eco-friendly material known as Primeknit. Their yarn is derived from recycled, post-consumer materials, such as used garments. The main materials include, alpaca fur, silk, hemp, and cotton and the secondary materials include nylon, polyester, rayon, and thermoplastic fused yarn.
Each of the main materials are acquired and/or processed through some kind of machinery and washed in water to be cleaned. Alpaca fur is collected through a shearing process. “The shearing is carried out by hand, using scissors-like shears”  and the alpacas are not harmed or killed in the process. Next, the fur must be washed with soap and water and then put through a spinning machine to be spun into threads. Silk is also collected by hand. After the silkworms have spun their cocoons, they are “treated with hot air, steam, or boiling water. The silk is then unbound from the cocoon by softening the sericin and then delicately and carefully unwinding, or 'reeling' the filaments from 4 - 8 cocoons at once, sometimes with a slight twist, to create a single strand” . Unlike alpaca fur and silk, hemp is harvested from the earth when “the plant is finished producing pollen and the first seeds start to develop.” Then, “it must go through a process called retting in order to separate the fiber[s] from the rest of the plant” . Lastly, cotton is also harvested by machines, “either [by] a picker or a stripper.” Like almost all machinery today, these coal-powered machines result in CO2 emissions released into the air. Moreover, to harvest cotton, “it is estimated that growers use, on average, 5.3 oz (151 g) of chemicals to produce one pound of processed cotton. Cotton cultivation is responsible for 25% of all chemical pesticides used on American crops.”  These chemicals are harmful to the soil it’s planted on, wildlife, and especially, the atmosphere. Fortunately, Adidas has partnered with Better Cotton Initiative to work toward using 100% sustainable cotton in their products. Better Cotton Initiative works to reduce the use of pesticides and improve water use and crop rotation efficiency, which then limits water waste and the harmful chemicals released into the air. In general, heavy machinery is essential to acquire these main fibers, which requires the burning of fossil fuels and thus releases CO2 emissions into the air. Furthermore, these materials must be washed with soap and water before they are spun into threads, and therefore contribute to an abundance of waterborne waste.
Unfortunately, “nylon does not exist in nature: we have to make it in chemical plants from organic (carbon-based) chemicals found in natural materials such as coal or petroleum” . Petroleum is formed from dead, organic substances found deep within the earth, which is then extracted and undergoes a chemical reaction with different acids and molecules to produce nylon. By using recycled nylon, Adidas contributes to a reduction in toxic emissions from incinerators that would otherwise be used for nylon disposal and burning of the fossil fuel, petroleum, each time a new shoe is made. Similarly, standard polyester is also “derived from coal, air, water, and petroleum” . However, Adidas uses recycled polyester, which is collected from post-consumer waste, then reprocessed and spun into fibers. By using recycled polyester, Adidas is, again, less reliant on petroleum, thus reducing the toxic emissions released during incineration and the chemical reactions that take place during production. Standard rayon is made from “purified cellulose” and “then treated to form regenerated cellulose filaments” which “are spun into yarns and eventually made into the desired fabric.” Unfortunately, chemical byproducts result at the end of this process and “generate undesirable water and air emissions,”  like zinc and hydrogen sulfide. However, because Adidas often uses recycled rayon, these harmful byproducts and waterborne wastes are significantly lowered. Lastly, thermoplastic fused yarns are woven throughout and then melted down and pressed until fusing together with the rest of the knitted material. Heating this material requires electricity, thus contributing to the overuse of fossil fuels.
After all the materials are collected, these fibers are sent to a German-based knitting company called Stoll, which has developed a computerized knitting machine. This machine is automatically run by programmed robots and does not require any further human effort. Because this is a computerized machine, it requires fossil fuels to generate electricity to power it. However, it reduces waste by 70%, as it does not need to cut pieces from a pattern and dispose of the excess material.
After the upper exterior of the shoe is achieved, Adidas begins to build the shoes’ platform through Digital Light Synthesis. This technology, pioneered by Carbon, is a software-controlled, layer-based chemical process that begins with a liquid polymer base, cured by ultraviolet light, and repeated layer by layer until the end model is obtained. To ensure durability and strength, the model is baked until a solid exterior is achieved. This machinery requires high energy consumption and burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity. However, it eliminates the need for individualized molds and excess material waste that would otherwise be produced. Before Digital Light Synthesis, this process was known as injection molding. Injection molding is quick and fairly accurate, however making the molds and setting up the production line is slow, expensive, and wasteful. Through Adidas’ partnership with Carbon, injection molding is no longer needed. Digital Light Synthesis saves more time and money and the heightened accuracy reduces waste which otherwise would be produced during additional processing if a mold was produced incorrectly the first time through.
Next, the Digital Light Synthesis process works with liquid resins, a synthetic fluid that, when mixed with a hardening agent, quickly dries into durable solid. Liquid resins originate from natural gas and oil, thus resulting in burning of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions. However, during the baking process, layers are knit together more effectively and reduce the need for additional processing and energy usage. If poured down drains, resin mixtures can lead to the contamination of waterways. Fortunately, Digital Light Synthesis uses the exact amount of substance needed to form the base of the shoe, thus avoiding waterborne waste and waste of resources.
Because Adidas is assisted by companies around the world, primarily Germany, transportation of their products and materials requires gasoline and electricity to power public mass transit systems, such as airplanes and trains which release CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. In addition, through Better Cotton Initiative, Adidas’ cotton sourcing countries include Turkey, Brazil, US, Mali, Pakistan and India, which also requires a means of transportation to get the material from the fields to the factories, like airplanes, trains, and trucks. Unfortunately, airplanes emit a massive amount of CO2, nitrogen oxides, and even water vapor at extremely high altitudes into the atmosphere. These emissions result in warming the surface of the earth, and thus adding to global warming effects. Although trains and trucks cut CO2 emissions by half compared to airplanes, they still release a significant amount into the air.
By the end of the shoes’ lifecycle, the upper Primeknit material can be easily recycled; however, the 3D printed shoe platform creates new waste problems for Adidas. In terms of Primeknit, Adidas has established a “Make Every Thread Count” sustainability campaign, where consumers can turn in used footwear and apparel products when they are no longer of use. With this system, Adidas collects post-consumer products from any company and ships them to a German-based company, where they are sorted according to different quality criteria. These products can either be worn again and transferred to a second hand market or recycled into secondary raw materials for new products. Because the used products need to be transported to Germany, the means of transportation results in CO2 emissions. As for the 3D printed parts of the shoe, this plastic material is not biodegradable or easily recyclable. However, they can be put through a grinder, melted down, and turned into new plastic filament to be used again. This process of grinding down 3D printed objects is often unknown, expensive, and less convenient to consumers, therefore most end up in landfills. They are then put through the incineration process, thus releasing CO2 emissions into the air.
Through a deep examination of the manufacturing and production process at Adidas, we are able to see that the amount of material waste has significantly diminished and thus lowered the need for additional processes. Because Adidas uses recycled materials, their dependency on petroleum and other fossil fuels to produce nylon and polyester is lessened. In addition cotton, alpaca fur, silk, and hemp collection and the chemicals and machinery that goes into harvesting it is reduced. While Digital Light Synthesis comes with similar benefits, it also comes with extreme drawbacks. These drawbacks include more pollutant releases and energy consumption, primarily at the end of the shoes’ lifecycle. Adidas is working toward finding better ways to dispose of their 3D printed platforms so that they do not continue to end up in landfills to be put through incineration. Furthermore, because Adidas shoes are now being assembled in Germany, we can see that fossil fuels are necessary to power the transportation from the factories in Germany to the United States and then from Adidas factories to stores and consumers. While they have made significant changes to their production processes that have lessened resource and material waste, Adidas is still exploring ways to diminish the pollutant releases that result from their means of transportation and machinery.
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