A lot of that cost likely has to do with economies of scale. Recycled polyester can carry up to a 20 percent premium over the freshly-made variety, and it could prove daunting to process the material in Adidas-level quantities. The company is likely betting that refined techniques will bring the costs down over time.
The company wouldn’t be on the vanguard of embracing recycled plastics. Stella McCartney’s fashion label has vowed to stop using brand new nylon by 2020, as an example. It’d be uncharted territory for a company the size of Adidas, however, and that could have a significant effect on the viability of recycled plastics across the apparel industry. There’s certainly an impetus to make the transition. Eco-conscious design is good for the public image, of course, but it’s also crucial when ocean plastic is a serious problem that will only get worse [...]