This morning, the Reebok Future team launched the NPC UK Cotton sneakers, the first product from their "Cotton + Corn" sustainable products initiative, which was announced last year. The Cotton + Corn program aims to produce footwear with "things that grow"instead of materials like petroleum and synthetic rubber. The NPC UK Cotton sneakers feature an upper made of 100% cotton, a corn-based sole, insoles that are derived from castor bean oil and 100% recycled packaging.
"Most athletic footwear is made using petroleum to create synthetic rubber and foam cushioning systems. 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% USDA certified biobased content, 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." —Bill McInnis, Head of Reebok Future
Compared to the preliminary images of the shoe Reebok released last year, it's nice to see the design team chose to focus more on the natural textures of cotton and corn, especially with the woven cotton upper.
To develop the NPC UK Cotton + Corn soles, Reebok partnered with DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products who have developed Susterra® propanediol, a petroleum-free, non-toxic product that contains 100% USDA certified bio-based content, derived from field corn.
The NPC UK Cotton + Corn are retailing for $95 here: Reebok.com/CottonandCorn.
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A noble effort in this eco-renewables world we live in.
I'm an advocate for well thought out bio-based solutions, but these are only somewhat sustainable if they are using wasted byproduct of the corn industry. I understand that these aren't in the realm of Ethanol production quantity but there are many other bio materials that would have a better "eco" story. Promoting the use of corn as a good sustainable choice is misleading and irresponsible based on the amount of fossil fuels used and environmental degradation that occurs from fertilizer/herbicidal intensive monocrops like corn. Adidas and other companies using Marine plastic is a much more compelling story. Reebok would have nailed it if they had found a sleek way to repurpose the majority wasted plastic that doesn't get recycled in the U.S. That would bring light to a real issue rather than jumping on the "bio-based/green" bandwagon like Dasani etc.
I love these like a pig loves corn.
I love those shoes.