Fitness brand, Reebok, plans to introduce plant-based footwear to the global market later this year under its Cotton + Corn sustainable product initiative.
The Reebok Future team developed Cotton + Corn initiative to create shoes “made from things that grow.”
Bill McInnis, Head, Reebok Future, said, “This is really just the first step for us. With Cotton + Corn we are focused on all three phases of the product lifecycle. First, with product development we are 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.”
For the Cotton + Corn initiative, Reebok partnered with DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products, which produces a rubber known as Susterra propanediol. The material is petroleum-free, non-toxic, biodegradable, and is derived from "industrial-grown" corn - that means it isn't grown as food.
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.”