In 2021 sustainability is going to take more central stage in sneakers category. Typically, unlike shoes that usually last longer, sneakers are for a shorter period. Cloth shoes tend to have a shorter lifetime than leather, with the mainstream people dispose of their old trainers once they are out done for. Whereas the idea of a circular sneaker is not new, it has yet to be accepted in a mainstream way just like sustainable clothing.
Circular sneaker pioneers
Some pioneers in this sector are bringing more sustainable options for mess. Swedish fashion brand Our Choice is a circular sneaker pioneer, promising to be a plastics free, fair, and circular fashion brand that thinks that sustainable shoes should be accessible to everyone.
Their sneakers are completed in the EU from Italian vegetable tanned calf leather, which Our Choice says is sourced as a by-product from Italy’s food industry. The shoe includes a sole that is 100% natural rubber and insoles made of linen fibres. The laces are produced from organic cotton, making the sneakers 100 percent plastic and chromium free.
Adidas is presently testing its Ultraboost DNA Loop sneaker to be upcycled into a new shoe once it grasps the end of its lifecycle. The shoe was designed as part of Adidas’s promise to conform to the principles of a circular economy.
Also, a Swiss-based, subscription brand On Running has launched a recyclable shoe manufactured from beans. The shoe is dye free and made from a single cut of fabric, allowing for nominal waste. The cost of a monthly subscription is 29.99 dollars, with a new pair sent after each 600km of use.
French brand Salomon has created local collection points for its first entirely recyclable running shoe, the Index.01. Set to launch in the spring of 2021, the shoe is constructed so that it can be sent back at the end of its life, then disassembled and recycled into new products.
Italian start-up Dress-to-live launched a circular sneaker called WAO. They first debuted their shoes on a crowdfunding platform before launching an online store. All 12 parts of WAO shoes are made with natural, innovative and sustainable materials, such as a hemp and wood fiber upper, cork insole, cotton lining and degradable rubber sole. At the end of their lifecycle, Dress-to-live collects the shoes and separates the parts for compost and mixed waste, feeding worms with the organic parts.