Following in the footsteps of Hugo Boss who recently launched a range of sneakers made from pineapple leather, Reebok has created a pair of fashionable yet sustainable sneakers made from corn and cotton.
Twenty billion pairs of shoes are produced annually and roughly 300 million end up in landfills, and Reebok is keen to reduce this number with the launch of the sustainable sneakers which took five years to design.
The company spent countless hours designing the shows to ensure their green credentials as well as ensuring they would be stylish enough to entice customers to purchase them.
“So sexy comes down to design. We used the silhouette that we know people love and we made it out of these new materials,” Reebok’s Bill McInnis said.
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.
“It didn’t start out with corn and cotton, it started out with recycling, compostability, where do we want to land. Our issue with recycling is you recycle plastic, it’s still plastic…You’re not getting rid of the problem,” McInnis said. “The idea is how do you get rubber and plastic out of the process and replace it with natural things that grow like corn.”
The cotton and corn shoes are now available online priced at $95 – in the same price range of the classic sneaker. 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.
Sustainable vegan footwear looks set to be the next big focus for fashion and fitness brands, with Adidas also releasing a stylish pair of running shoes made almost entirely from plastic recovered from the ocean. The brand is aiming to produce 1 million pairs of the sneakers from more than 11 million plastic bottles, as well as using recycled ocean waste to make limited edition football kits for Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. Eventually, Adidas strives to eliminate virgin plastic from its supply chain altogether and hopes to expand its plastic cultivation to much more of its product line.