Over a year ago, Reebok announced that it would be pursuing a new initiative focused on renewable and eco-friendly materials. Fast forward to today and Reebok’s Cotton & Corn line is now available with its first shoe from this project. Reebok has made a serious investment into this project, one that it hopes will grow into a new sector of business over time. For a brand that lags behind major players such as Nike and adidas, it make sense to explore new areas that will help it standout. More below.
Cotton & Corn began in 2017 as an initiative to create shoes from “things that grow.” Focusing on materials like corn, as a opposed to various petroleum-based materials, gives Reebok an industry-first design.
Take it a step further, each pair of shoes will be biodegradable after use. This should in theory cut down on waste created from each pair of kicks. Much of Reebok’s focus comes from a 2013 MIT study, which revealed that your average pair of shoes creates 30-pounds of carbon dioxide emissions from start to finish.
“This is really just the first step for us. We’ll then use that compost as part of the soil to grow the materials for the next range of shoes. We want to take the entire cycle into account; to go from dust to dust”, said Bill McInnis who leads this initiative for Reebok.
At launch, the new Corn & Cotton collection will feature one shoe for $95. The NPX UK Cotton + Corn is a unisex release that will come in just one color to start: natural/chalk. Reebok says that this model is made from 75% USDA-certified biological material, a number that it hopes to improve over time as this project evolves.
The shoe’s upper is made from cotton, which is organically sourced, while the sole comes from a corn-based TPU. Reebok is even using castor bean oil on the insole while avoiding use of any dyes that might be damaging to the environment.
Reebook is planning on developing more Corn & Cotton releases in the near future now that the original idea has been proven to be viable. You can expect to see more brands look to go to the ecologically friendly route in the coming years. Adidas has already made in-roads with its own biodegradable shoes with plans for additional releases over the next decade. You can learn more about the latest release from Reebok on this landing page. The new Corn & Cotton shoes are available for purchase today.