adidas is a multinational corporation, founded and headquartered in Germany, that designs and manufactures shoes, clothing and accessories. It is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe. adidas has made an impact not only on sport and athletes, but on fashion, music, culture, sustainability and beyond.
adidas' logo is three stripes, which is used on the company's clothing and shoe designs as a marketing aid. The branding, which adidas bought in 1952 from Finnish sports company Karhu Sports, became so successful described adidas as "The three stripes company".
Adi Dassler started to make sports shoes because he wanted to make a difference in athlete performance. In July 1924, his older brother Rudolf joined the business, which became Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory. In 1936, Dassler persuaded U.S. sprinter Jesse Owens to use his hand made spikes at the 1936 Summer Olympics. Following Owens' four gold medals, the name and reputation of Dassler shoes became known to the world's sportsmen and their trainers. The business was successful and the Dasslers were selling 200,000 pairs of shoes every year before World War II.
In 1949, following a breakdown in the relationship between the brothers, Adolf created adidas, and Rudolf established Puma, which became adidas' business rival. After a period of trouble following the death of Adolf Dassler's son Horst Dassler in 1987, the company was bought in 1989 by French industrialist Bernard Tapie. In 2000, unable to pay the loan interest, Tapie mandated the Crédit Lyonnais bank sold adidas to Louis-Dreyfus for a much higher amount of money than Tapie owed.
During the mid to late 1990s, adidas divided the brand into three main groups with each a separate focus: adidas Performance was designed to maintain their devotion to the athlete; adidas Originals was designed to focus on the brand's earlier designs which remained a popular lifestyle icon and Style Essentials, which dealt with the fashion market.
On 11 April 2006, adidas announced an 11-year deal to become the official NBA clothing provider. The company has been making NBA, NBDL, and WNBA jerseys and products as well as team-coloured versions of the "Superstar" basketball shoe.
adidas has done several collaborations with well known designers, including Stella McCartney, Jeremy Scott, Alexander Wang, and Raf Simons. They have also reached out to several celebrities, such as Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and Stan Smith to create some of the company's most notable and coveted pieces.
In 2020, adidas will produce 15 to 20 million pairs of shoes using recycled plastic waste from beaches and coastal regions, compared to more than eleven million pairs in 2019, five million in 2018 and one million in 2017.
The first fully recyclable running shoe “Futurecraft Loop” has been in the test phase since 2019. The market launch is planned for 2021. adidas is also working on the development of bio-fabricated materials for sports apparel and presented first prototypes for tennis wear in 2019.
From 2021 onwards, packaging used to transport products from the manufacturing countries to the store shelves will also be made from recycled materials. At the same time, adidas is testing a recycling loop for transport packaging.
By 2024, adidas will only use recycled polyester in all adidas products across the business, aided by the introduction of PRIMEBLUE and PRIMEGREEN performance fabrics where 100% of the polyester used is recycled.
By 2030, as a signatory to the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, adidas has committed to reduce both its own and its suppliers’ greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2017 by 30 percent. By 2050 adidas aims to achieve climate neutrality.