Adidas is shutting down Sneaker factories in both the US and Germany taking production to Asia

The German sportswear maker Adidas announced this week that it would be shutting down two leading hi-tech sneaker factories near Ansbach, Germany, and Atlanta, Georgia. The facilities, which Adidas calls “Speedfactories” uses automated technology to produce sneakers.  Adidas had hoped to bring shoe production closer to consumers and cut shipping emissions, but they have now decided to install its Speedfactory technology to two suppliers in Vietnam and China.

Spokesperson Claudia Lange says, “More than 90% of our products are manufactured in Asia. It makes more sense to concentrate the production of the Speedfactories where the know-how and the suppliers are located”.”This is less due to financial reasons [and more for] organizational reason”, she added.

Adidas had planned a global network of automated production that would bring sneaker productivity closer to its major markets, allowing it to respond more quickly to consumer’s demands while reducing its environmental impact. The Speedfactories “have been instrumental in furthering our manufacturing innovation,” Martin Shankland, Adidas’ head of global operations, said in a statement. The company said that production at the two existing Speedfactories, which were targeting 1 million pairs of shoes between them annually, will come to an end by the end of April 2020.

“We produce more than 400 million pairs of shoes per year, so the decision will not have a significant impact on our carbon footprint and we will continue our efforts to actively reduce our carbon footprint as a company,” Lange added.‘’When deployed elsewhere, the technology will continue to enable short production times and the production of other types of footwear, not only running shoes,’’ Adidas explained. They also cited that, it will continue its collaboration with Oechsler, the operator of both Speedfactories, in the area of 4D printing. The company says “in the future, Adidas will concentrate its resources and capacities even more on modernizing its other suppliers and using 4D technology in footwear production”.