Reebok ‘grows’ plant-based footwear
Global fitness brand, Reebok, is to launch a plant-based athletic shoe later this year. The development is part of the ‘Cotton + Corn’ programme, an initiative developed by the Reebok Future team to create shoes “made from things that grow”. The shoe has an upper made of organic cotton and a base originating from industrial grown corn, a non-food source.
Bill McInnis, head of Reebok Future, said: “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, rather than the petroleum-based materials commonly used today. 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.”
McInnis added: “Ultimately, our goal is to create a broad selection of bio-based footwear that can be composted after use. We’ll then use that compost as part of the soil to grow the materials for the next range of shoes. We want to take the entire cycle into account; to go from dust to dust.”
Reebok partnered with DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products, a manufacturer of high-performance bio-based solutions who have developed Susterra propanediol, a petroleum-free, non-toxic, USDA certified bio-based product, derived from field corn. Susterra propanediol is used to create the soles of the shoes.
Matt O’Toole, president of Reebok said: “Reebok’s philosophy is to ‘Be More Human,’ and sustainability is a core part of that belief. As human beings, we have a responsibility to leave this planet as we found it for future generations. Unfortunately, the fact is most shoes just end up in landfills, which is something we are trying to change. As a brand, we will be focusing on sustainability with the Cotton + Corn program as well as other initiatives we have in the works”.