Reebok launches crop-based shoes

Reebok launches crop-based shoes
Aug 16, 2018

A pair of NPC UK Cotton and Corn shoes sells for about US$95

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

One of the largest shoe manufacturers has launched a new product with an agricultural spin.

Reebok recently introduced the NPC UK Cotton and Corn, a shoe made entirely from plant-based material. The shoe is the first item from the company’s Cotton + Corn collection.

The shoe features an upper (the part of the shoe that covers the toes and the top of the foot) completely made of cotton and a bio-based sole made from corn. The insoles are made from castor bean oil.

The shoe is the “first ever 75 percent USDA certified bio-based shoe,” Reebok’s website says.

The idea for the shoe comes from the company’s commitment to a more environmentally friendly production process.

“Most athletic footwear is made using petroleum to create synthetic rubber and foam cushioning systems,” Bill McInnis, head of Reebok Future, said in a statement Tuesday. “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?’”

Reebok collaborated with the ag industry to bring the product to market.

DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts developed Susterra propanediol, a product that contains “100 percent USDA certified bio-based content, derived from field corn” to create the sole of the NPC UK Cotton and Corn.

This first shoe is the first step towards Reebok’s sustainability goals.

The company announced last year it is creating a line of plant-based footwear that people can compost after the shoes are worn out.

A pair of the plant-based footwear costs about US$95 and are available in limited quantities.

Reebok photo

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