Reebok Grows Compostable Shoes

In an attempt to be the eco-friendliest brand and always be one step ahead of the competition, Reebok, the global athletic footwear and apparel company, is now planning to unveil a completely compostable sneaker designed to not cause harm to the environment.

Their new project, called “Cotton + Corn”, is a sustainable targeting initiative aimed at creating shoes from plant based material that grow themselves, make the products out of it, and when the consumers are done, the product can be recycled.

The shoe’s upper is made from organic cotton, which is quite common for casual sneakers, but while shoe soles are typically made of materials derived from petroleum, in this case the more sustainable commodity of corn is doing the job.

The soles of the shoes are made from a material called Susterra propanediol, which is produced by DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products, using mature, drycorn kernels.

“This is really just the first step for us. With Cotton + Corn, we’re focused on all three phases of the product lifecycle. First, with product development we’re using materials that grow and can be replenished. Second, when the product hits the market we know our consumers don’t want to sacrifice on how sneakers look and perform. Finally, we care about what happens to the shoes when people are done with them. So, we’ve focused on plant-based materials such as corn and cotton at the beginning, and compostability in the end”, says Bill McInnis, vice president of Reebok Future, the team that developed the Cotton + Corn initiative.

But this isn´t all, Reebok also wants to compost and recycle the shoes once the consumers are done, and make it to soil that can help grow new materials for the next development of shoes. They are really trying to clean up the entire life cycle of shoe making.

“Typical shoes are made from oil-based plastics that can sit around in landfills for hundreds of years when you’re done with them. We’re focusing on creating shoes made from things that grow, made from things that bio-compost, made from things that can be replenished,” McInnis says.

This new type of shoe is only a first step towards a more sustainable future, and “Cotton + Corn” is groundbreaking for any sneaker lover. A great example that can have a long-term positive impact on the world.

Watch the video of Reebok’s initiative here:


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