Reebok has replaced the leather patches on its sustainable corn sneakers to make them suitable for vegans.
Twenty billion pairs of shoes are produced annually and roughly 300 million end up in landfills, and athletic wear brand Reebok decided to tackle this issue with the launch of the sustainable sneakers which took five years to design.
Reebok wanted to make sure that the shoes did not contribute to the plastic problem facing our planet, and so designed the shoes to be made from naturally occurring materials like corn which do not end up in landfill or oceans. They also come wrapped in 100% recycled packaging when purchased online.
Whilst the shoes were eco-friendly they weren’t vegan thanks to leather patches on the tongue and heel of the shoes, and so the company was encouraged to remove this by animal-rights organization PETA to make them vegan and animal-friendly.
The newly vegan sneaker is not just animal-friendly, but its also the first ever 75 per cent USDA certified bio-based shoe and is made with a 100 per cent cotton upper and a bio-based sole derived from corn. Though the shoe is sustainable, it’s not yet biodegradable, but Reebok is working on a second version of the shoe that will be compostable.
Discussing the green credentials of the shoe, Head of Reebok Future, Bill McInnis, said: “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.”
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk added: “Reebok is at the forefront of a vegan revolution using high-tech materials that are kind to the Earth and all its inhabitants.
“PETA is calling on retailers around the world to follow Reebok’s example and develop high-performance fabrics that spare cows terrible deaths and spare the environment toxic tanneries.”
The animal-rights organization also gave Reebok an award dubbed Innovator For Animals, stating the brand’s vegan sneakers: “Perfectly demonstrates the superiority of cruelty-free, plant-based technology over leather and other animal-derived materials and provides trendsetters and activewear enthusiasts alike with sneakers that are durable, light, zero-waste, and, best of all, animal friendly.”
For more information please visit: www.reebok.com/us/cottonandcorn