The Cotton + Corn programme in the US aims to produce footwear with “things that grow” in order to create sustainable products. The sneaker, the NPC UK Cotton + Corn, is constructed from an upper made of 100 per cent cotton, and a corn-based sole. The shoe has insoles that are derived from castor bean oil and comes in packaging that is 100 per cent recycled.
“Most athletic footwear is made using petroleum to create synthetic rubber and foam cushioning systems,” said Bill McInnis, Head of Reebok Future. “With 20 billion pairs of shoes made every year, this is not a sustainable way of making footwear. At Reebok, we thought ‘what if we start with materials that grow, and use plants rather than oil-based materials?’ By using sustainable resources as our foundation, and then through ongoing testing and development, we were able to create a plant-based sneaker that performs and feels like any other shoe.”
“The NPC UK Cotton + Corn is the only footwear product on the market that has been certified as containing 75 per cent USDA certified biobased content,” said McInnis. “And this is just the start for us. We are on an ongoing path to create a different type of footwear – so that you can feel good about what you’re wearing and where it came from.”
The NPC UK Cotton + Corn retaisl for $95 and is available from August 14 in limited quantities, exclusively on Reebok.com.
For the Cotton + Corn initiative, Reebok partnered with DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products, a leading manufacturer of high-performance biobased solutions. DuPont Tate & Lyle has developed Susterra® propanediol, a pure, petroleum-free, non-toxic product that contains 100% USDA certified biobased content, derived from field corn. Susterra® propanediol is used to create the sole of the NPC UK Cotton + Corn footwear.
The Reebok Future team is Reebok’s innovation department dedicated to creating new technologies, ideas, techniques and prototypes.