Who runs the world? Well, it might just be the multi-billion dollar shoe industry. Clothes and cuisines vary from place to place, which leaves few things in life that every person on the planet shares a need for (other than, obviously, water). But one of those things has to be shoes. And with shoe waste at an all-time unsustainable high, it’s about time that some sustainable shoes made their way onto our feet.
Athletic shoes are usually made from synthetic materials and plastics derived from petroleum. But unlike other plastics, it’s almost impossible to recycle them. On top of that, the lifespan of a shoe is roughly one year only. So how many shoes in the landfill exactly does that amount to?
Well, in 2017, $64.3 billion dollars was spent on athletic shoes worldwide. These shoes average a cost of about $100 each, which means about 643,000,000 sneakers were purchased – and by the end of the year, most of them were in the trash. Despite personal efforts to give away or donate old shoes to charity, this infrastructure is stunted and often unable to meet its goals. That’s why the best solution is to simply change the production of athletic shoes.
Which is exactly what Reebok just did.
Their new Forever Floatride GROW model is an entirely plant-based running shoe. It was designed as part of the company’s initiative to reduce the need for petroleum-based plastics in footwear production. Although meeting the highly specific shoe standards of the average runner is no easy feat, the running community has been the most vocal and passionate about the sustainable shoe issue.
“With Forever Floatride GROW, we’re replacing oil-based plastic with plants,” said Bill McInnis, Vice President, Reebok Future. “The biggest challenge in making a shoe like this was developing plant-based materials that could meet the high performance needs of runners. During the three years we spent developing this product, we heard loud and clear that the idea of a plant-based running shoe resonates strongly with serious runners. But those same runners felt just as emphatically that they would never compromise on performance. The Forever Floatride GROW is the result. Plant-based performance – with no compromise.”
So what is it made out of? * Sustainably grown castor beans give the shoe a cushioned and intuitive midsole * The strong and breathable upper shoe is made from Eucalyptus tree * Its sock liner is made from naturally odor-resistant BLOOM algae foam, harvested from invasive growth areas * Natural rubber sourced from real rubber trees (rather than petroleum-manufactured is used for outsole “The earth is a runner’s arena, and we have a responsibility to help detox the world for the athletes who run in it,” said Matt O’Toole, Reebok Brand President. “Our Cotton + Corn collection was the first step in making shoes from things that grow. Now, we have taken an award-winning running shoe, the Forever Floatride Energy, and reinvented it using natural materials to create what we feel is the most sustainable performance running shoe on the market.”
Get ready to see Forever Floatride GROW on the shelves in Fall 2020.