reebok environmentally-friendly cotton and corn sneaker sustainability
The NPC UK Cotton + Corn sneaker from Reebok, made to be an environmentally-friendly option compared to petroleum-based shoes. Photo: Reebok

Looking to lead a more environmentally-friendly life? You can take a step toward sustainability with a new cotton and corn shoe from Reebok.

Reebok, which is headquartered in Boston, has officially launched the first product in its new Cotton and Corn program, the sneaker company’s sustainable products initiative.

The ethos of the environmentally-friendly program is to make footwear with “things that grow.”

That’s instead of from things like petroleum and oil-based products, which are "pulled from the ground, and once you use them, you can't ever use them again,” Bill McInnis, head of Reebok Future, the company’s innovation department, previously told Metro. 

 

The first shoe in this sustainability initiative is the NPC UK Cotton + Corn sneaker, which officially launched this week.

Step toward sustainability: How is this Reebok sneaker environmentally-friendly?

reebok cotton and corn environmentally-friendly sustainability

The NPC UK Cotton + Corn sneaker features an upper made from 100 percent cotton that is soft and flexible, and a corn-based sole that feels just as sturdy as any other sneaker. The insoles are derived from castor bean oil, according to the company, and the footwear comes in packaging that is 100 percent recycled.

“The NPC UK Cotton + Corn is the only footwear product on the market that has been certified as containing 75 percent USDA certified bio-based content,” McInnis said in a statement.  “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.”

Long-term sustainability is the goal for Reebok, because it’s about what it looks like to create an environmentally-friendly sneaker on a large scale.

When it comes to making sneakers out of petroleum — which is used to create synthetic rubber and foam cushioning — “With 20 billion pairs of shoes made every year, this is not a sustainable way of making footwear,” McInnis explained in a statement.

But with cotton and corn shoes, made from things that grow and can be regrown, the company hopes a plant-based shoe can change not just the sneaker world, but Earth’s sustainability overall.

The  NPC UK Cotton + Corn sneaker comes in unisex sizing and retails for $95.

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