Back in November, adidas took to the Biofabricate Conference in New York to introduce a Futurecraft silhouette constructed out of Biosteel — a collaborative replication of natural silk, crafted in conjunction with AMSilk, that’s 100% naturally biodegradable. Now, just a few short months later, Three Stripes subsidiary Reebok is getting in on the sustainable action, announcing its intent to launch a line of eco-friendly footwear. Aptly dubbed “Cotton + Corn,” the shoes will make use of DuPont’s Susterra propanediol to craft the sole from non-food source corn and pair it with an organic cotton upper. This shoes can even be used as compost at the end of their lifespan. Said Bill McInnis, Head of Reebok Future, in a statement:
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, 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.
We like to say, we are “growing shoes” here at Reebok. 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 President Matt O’Toole added:
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…
Reebok has a long history of innovation and of being a socially responsible company. The Reebok Future team was created to innovate not only the products we make, but also the process by which we make them. Cotton + Corn is another great example of this, and one that can have a long-term positive impact on the world.
Reebok’s first “Cotton + Corn” entry is expected to make its way to retail sometime later this year.