Iconic sports brand adidas has made a huge sustainable splash—and the world has taken notice. That’s why it’s so exciting for S&S to be the exclusive distributor of premium adidas products to the wholesale market. We’ve now introduced the wholesale market to more than 30 adidas styles that contain recycled polyester, or are made from 100% recycled polyester, and more are on the way.

The prestige of this brand, coupled with its compelling recycled-product story and sustainable message, speaks to Gen X and Millennial end-users in a whole new way.

This year, and into 2021, distributors and decorators should start embracing the opportunity to present clients with adidas’ sustainable story and styles, as people are looking for more responsible brands to buy from. Here’s a few reasons why.

Celebrity Love for Adidas Is Blowing Up

When you take adidas’ sustainable efforts and then add in major star power, you get an unbeatable formula for brand success. Collaborations with artists like Pharrell Williams and Kanye West have led to the creation of highly sought after sneaker collections. Beyoncé’s “Ivy Park” athletic apparel line, just launched—capturing more of the urban and streetwear markets. Their newest brand ambassador, NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes, is the inspiration behind their recently launched collection, Pat’s Closet, and the talent keeps on flocking to adidas.

Many athletes and celebrities use their reach to help causes they care about the most. They feel a need to align themselves with things that can make a difference and that’s what makes adidas so attractive to collaborate with. That’s also why your clients will love wearing adidas, and adding them to their apparel programs.

The Message Buyers Want to Hear

There’s a rich, layered marketing story about how adidas has actively evolved its operations and product manufacturing to reduce its impact on our planet for years. That message specifically appeals to younger corporate customers, who care deeply about being loyal to sustainable brands.

Millennial buyers also gravitate toward premium brands, since they prefer to use products longer without needing to replace them. Close to 75% of Gen Y buys eco-conscious products and most have said they’re willing to pay more to support sustainable businesses.

Adidas has been on its sustainable journey since 1998, to use recycled materials in all their products. In 2019, they announced their bold initiative to use ONLY 100% recycled polyester in all of their products, by 2024.

Now, in 2020, more than 50% of all the polyester adidas uses in its products is recycled. “It’s only been three years since we announced our push for educating the world about how bad plastic is and what it’s doing to our oceans,” said Zion Armstrong, president of Adidas North America, on the Bloomberg Business of Sports podcast.

Recycled poly vs. virgin poly just makes so much more “Earth-sense.” According to adidas, recycled polyester:

  • makes 60% reduced environmental impact compared to virgin polyester
  • uses 59% less energy to produce than virgin polyester
  • reduces CO2 emissions by 32% compared to virgin polyester.

These are great stats to share with eco-concerned buyers. Consider also that 97% of buyers want to make a positive impact on the planet environmentally and 79% want brands to help them be more environmentally friendly, according to EU Continuum Research. Also, with 89% of consumers saying they would buy a product with social and environmental benefits, if given the opportunity, pitching adidas to more clients makes perfect sense, as they’re setting a new standard for corporate responsibility.

By next year, adidas will unveil the Futurecraft Loop, a 100% recyclable shoe that can be returned and broken down to create a brand-new pair.  By 2024, adidas’ Parley Ocean Plastic, PRIMEBLUE and PRIMEGREEN performance fabrics (made from recycled materials) will replace any virgin polyester the company uses.

By 2030, adidas aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% as part of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. Even more impressive, by 2050, the company wants to achieve climate neutrality. Right now, in Germany, adidas sources almost all of its electricity from renewable resources. 

Clients Want Apparel That Fit Their Brand

When a distributor or decorator approaches us and says, “We want to outfit this car company or this beverage company with some premium apparel,” we drill down into our selection and make suggestions based on what we think fits best into their branding.

For example, adidas is a great fit for brands like, say, Suburu or Rain-bird (or any other eco-conscious brands for that matter) because of their shared global view on sustainability. These sports and lifestyle pieces are highly attractive to them because they’re a perfect fusion of brand recognition, stylish performance and recycled materials, which aligns with their corporate branding.

The great news is that within our big selection of adidas products, there are a variety of price points to fit different budget requirements in this uncertain economy. And, as an added bonus, selling premium brands also gives you an opportunity to make more money on markups. So, the question is, who’s the best fit for adidas products?

Industries That Love Adidas

While adidas has long captured the sports and golf markets, now the brand has largely expanded into the lifestyle space. Our diverse styles range from men’s and women’s performance sport shirts, t-shirts, caps, visors, jackets, quarter-zip pullovers and vests.

1. Automotive: Baby boomers, Gen Exers and Millennials all have a long history with adidas. When all age groups go to buy a car, if a dealership’s using or giving away adidas products that are UV 50+ protective and 100% recycled, they receive a certain message: “Get outside. Be sustainable. Take care of the environment.” 

When brands like Subaru, which already embody those ideals, hook into adidas, it’s that much more powerful for buyers. Car companies that produce electric or hybrid cars are also great candidates for a brand like adidas.

(Click the style for more info: A311, A236, A301, A616)

2. Technology: So many Gen Xers and Millennials run businesses using cloud-based tech. Lots of people in these younger generations also work at tech-focused companies and buy logoed corporate apparel. Again, they want to buy from brands doing their part to limit their carbon footprints on the environment.

(Styles A475 and A476)

3. Wellness: Whether you’re looking at vitamin supplements, protein bars and shakes, or fitness facilities, a lot of wellness companies’ brand stories tie our health into caring for our planet and sustainability. A focus on health, wellness and social responsibility is even more important now in the year of COVID-19. Buyers in this space will be more critical of how companies they’re buying from are caring for their employees, customers and the environment.

(Style A451)

5. Outdoor lifestyle: Companies like Patagonia and REI know that all age groups want to choose their adventure, while remaining brand loyal to a company that embodies social and eco responsibility. When outdoor lifestyle brands link up with a company like adidas for employee wear or branded retail apparel, the message is clear: We love people and the planet.

At S&S, our sales team can’t wait to help you present select adidas styles to your clients. Please reach out to your rep to learn more about adidas’s offerings and sustainability story.

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