Eric Liedtke’s Degenerate Life after adidas

Eric Liedtke is a visionary leader who has spent over 25 years in the sports and fashion industry. He is well known for his contributions to adidas, where he served as the Executive Board Member responsible for Global Brands from 2014 to 2019. During his tenure at adidas, he played a key role in the company’s growth and success, leading the development of innovative products and campaigns that resonated with consumers around the world.

After leaving adidas in 2019, Eric Liedtke has continued to make an impact in the industry. He is currently serving as a Senior Advisor to the private equity firm Advent International, where he provides strategic guidance and support for investments in the consumer, retail, and leisure sectors. He is also a board member of several companies, including the outdoor apparel brand Arc’teryx and the fitness technology company Hydrow.

Outshining these accomplishments is one crown jewel, Unless Collective.  A company of innovative thinkers dedicated to the development of the first athletic shoe (The Degenerative) that is completely plastic-free. They rose to the challenge and solved for every issue, right down to the tip of the shoelace that keeps it from fraying (called an “aglet” – you are welcome, trivia fans.)

The Making of a Degenerative Disrupter

garten CEO Michael Heinrich recently sat down with Eric where the two connected on a shared passion for a regenerative world and Eric shared some wisdom on his personal wellness philosophy.

After 25 years in the corporate world, Eric wanted to take back his time – his mantra was “zero wasted hours”.  With every decision he asks himself, “Am I helping myself, my friend, my family or my world?”  All his decisions are based on that one question.  “This gives me peace of mind and 100% satisfaction.” 

Eric has been a vegan for the last 7-8 years and practices intermittent fasting.  He does yoga every morning with his wife (and sometimes the kids).  He gets a workout in at lunchtime and finds that working up a sweat midday kicks him into a productive, energetic afternoon.  He also has personal aspirations to continue surfing, constantly improving his game and connecting with his deep love for the ocean. 

He recently renovated a house, making sure to incorporate a sauna, and cold plunge pool.. Trying to go plastic-free in household goods, textiles, and furniture has been a bit more of a challenge, but if he can find a natural solution for an athlete shoe… the hunt may be on for a plastic-free mattress soon!  We wouldn’t put it past him. 

“I don’t spend a lot of time letting ‘perfect’ get in the way of ‘better’.”

– Eric Liedtke

Watch the full conversation at