Sustainability Matters: Allbirds Delivers a Slip-On Version of Its Tree Dasher Running Shoe + More News

FN Staff
·9 min read

FN highlights the latest sustainable initiatives this season, including product launches, material innovations and corporate strategies. Send your news to web@footwearnews.com.

April 27, 2021: Allbirds released a slip-on shoe bearing the Dasher name today, dubbed the Tree Dasher Relay. The company said the new look comes with all the same performance running features found in the Tree Dasher, but features the ease of the its slip-on Loungers. And, as always, Allbirds delivered the shoe with eco-friendly materials such as one-piece uppers made from eucalyptus trees and dual-density SweetFoam midsoles made with carbon negative green EVA.

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The Allbirds Dasher Relay is available now in men’s and women’s sizing, retailing for $125.

April 23, 2021: Kodiak will be the first footwear brand to use PrimaLoft P.U.R.E. insulation, which stands for “produced using reduced emissions.” The eco-friendly insulation is made with 100% post-consumer recycled PET plastic, which reduces carbon emissions by at least 48%. Kodiak will be incorporating PrimaLoft P.U.R.E. into four styles in its fall ’21 products, including the Kindersley, Stave, Tagish and Chadsey hiking and lifestyle boots. The partnership is part of a larger sustainability initiative for Kodiak, called Built for What Matters, through which it is collaborating with its suppliers to incorporate less harmful manufacturing practices and materials.

April 23, 2021: Aerosoles has released a vegan collection called Aerosoles Aware, featuring a range of flats and sandals made with premium Italian vegan materials. The brand will donate 1% of proceeds from sales of the collection to nonprofit organizations vetted by 1% for the Planet — a global movement of businesses that aims to inspire support for environmental solutions.

April 22, 2021: In honor of Earth Day, Vionic Shoes is donating $1 for every pair of shoes sold to Global Green, a non-profit organization that works with local communities to help develop a vision for a more sustainable future. Along with the donation, Vionic has also unveiled their Beach Collection, which features earth-friendly sneakers that are made of vegan materials.

April 22, 2021: Kengos, a new sustainable footwear label, has launched its first shoe: the Lace-Up. The plant-based silhouette is made from corn, cork, cotton and eucalyptus, as well as the brand’s own Pure Flex natural rubber. The brand has taken their commitment to ending waste a step further by creating the Lace-Up shoe without the use of adhesives — and as a result, this shoe promotes flexibility and durability. The style comes in men’s and women’s sizing with a $98 price tag at Kengos.com.

April 22, 2021: With Earth Day here, Snipes has something special planned for the Adidas Stan Smith style that features PrimeGreen uppers, which are made with 50% recycled content. The retailer revealed a special installation at its Flatbush Avenue location in Brooklyn, N.Y., that will remain in place until May 11. To execute the theme, Snipes recruited Olivia Rose to create 100 unique Stan Smith sculptures in miniature versions that will be on display. Also, the installation will include a theme of cleaning up the earth and finding creative ways to reuse materials.

April 15, 2021: The latest sustainability effort from Keen involves many people’s favorite way to wake up — coffee. The footwear company announced that it will use coffee grinds in a new line of sneakers that will debut in August. This effort, Keen said, is part of Detox the Planet initiative and will reduce the use of petrochemicals. Also, the brand explained it will diminish the amount of coffee grounds that make their way to landfills, where they emit greenhouse gas.

In a statement, Keen said its largest owned factory is in Thailand, which is also the home of thousands of coffee shops, and where the idea to use coffee grinds came from.

“Our Keen Innovation team had an epiphany while in a local coffee shop near our factory in Thailand. They realized the waste grounds were being sent off to the landfill, and wondered whether we could use this organic material in our footwear,” Erik Burbank, VP of the Keen Effect, said in a statement. “After several months of [research and development], we landed on a powerful model. By harvesting and upcycling the waste, we’re helping to reduce green-house gasses and are taking another step in reducing our dependence on petrochemicals.”

Keen said it will upcycle the coffee grounds into the Elsa Harvest and Eddy Harvest sneakers, which will be available in men’s and women’s sizing.

April 14, 2021: Clarks is working to solve the issue of waste and toxic chemicals in footwear manufacturing with its latest release, timed for Earth Day. The Clarks Origin collection, available now at Clarksusa.com, consists of two styles for men and women — a sport shoe and a new version of the Wallabee — made with no glue and only five components. Their unique Polyvelt construction contributes less waste and has a significantly reduced impact on the planet, according to the brand. In addition, Clarks carefully sourced its materials, utilizing 100% recycled polyester laces and recyclable thread, while the outsole is made from 51% recycled content, and the footbed contains 15% production waste EVA foam and 5% recycled rubber. The Origin sport shoe is priced at $150 and the Origin Wallabee retails for $170.

April 9, 2021: Champion Athleticwear has two eco-friendly product releases coming out in celebration of Earth Day: an updated version of its iconic Rally Pro sneaker and a collection of tees and sweats made from recycled polyester, called Natural State. The launch is an extension of the brand’s Champion Made initiative, an established list of sustainability goals that include achieving zero waste across operations by 2025. The new Champion Rally Pro Earth sneaker was created with licensing partner BBC International and is the brand’s first sneaker assembled with 25-45% upcycled materials and 50-65% recycled materials, with percentages varying by shoe color. The style comes in three colorways, which will retail for $104.22 at Champion.com and in select Champion stores starting April. 22. The Champion Natural State apparel collection debuts the same day and will be sold online and in-store at Champion and Urban Outfitters, priced from $35-$75.

April 7, 2021: Teva has announced a partnership with international recycling leader TerraCycle. Dubbed TevaForever, the program — part of the brand’s broader commitment to reduce its environmental impact — allows shoppers to give their well-worn sandals a new life. Customers looking to participate in the program are invited to visit Teva.com to download a prepaid shipping label and mail their sandals to TerraCycle, which will divert the shoes from landfills, clean them and separate their materials to prepare for processing. The processed materials will then be used by manufacturers to make new products like playgrounds, athletic fields and track ground cover. According to Teva VP and GM Anders Bergstrom, the program “gives our fans an easy way to join the cause.”

April 5, 2021: In honor of Earth Month, Anthropologie has joined forces with Brazilian clothing and accessories brand Farm Rio. As part of Farm Rio’s 1,000 Trees a Day project, Anthropologie has pledged to donate 25,000 trees over the course of the year through nonprofit One Tree Planted. In addition to its partnership, which begins on April 8, Anthropologie plans to give away an exclusively designed, limited-edition reusable tote for online shoppers who place an order of more than $175. “We are so inspired by the important work our friends at Farm Rio have been doing over the past 23 years and are beyond proud to partner with them to assist in One Tree Planted’s reforestation efforts in Brazil,” chief merchandising officer Anu Narayanan said in a statement.

April 1, 2021: As part of its increased commitment to sustainability, Koio is dropping its most eco-friendly sneaker yet. Called the Retro Runner, the unisex, padded silhouette features LWG Gold certified leather and partially recycled synthetics in the upper. Underfoot, the style also features the brand’s “ReCycled” outsole, made of 68% pre-consumer recycled materials, and “Recycled” midsole, composed of 30% pre-consumer recycled EVA. The style will retail for $278 on koio.co starting April 2.

koio-retro-runner
koio-retro-runner

April 1, 2021: For their fourth collection, Nicky Hilton and French Sole teamed up for a sustainable line. Launching today exclusively with retailer Maison de Mode, the collection includes four eco-friendly designs from organic and recycled animal-free materials. Designs include flats and espadrille sneakers, retailing for $165. “My awareness around the importance of sustainability in fashion has grown a lot over the years,” Hilton said in a statement. “This step within my own brand is something I’m very passionate about. All shoes wear out eventually, so creating footwear with materials that aren’t harmful to the planet and can eventually be recycled is extremely beneficial”

March 31, 2021: Giesswein is ramping up its green strategy with its new Cactus Sneaker. The shoe, which is offered in white, black, blue, red and green colorways, features vegan cactus leather. The sneaker’s raw material is made of the prickly pear cactus from Mexico, with the insole and inner lining made from organic cotton. By using plant-based leather, the use of chemical components like PVC or phthalates is completely avoided, according to the company. The sustainable style will be made available in June, retailing for $159.

March 22, 2021: Mr. Porter‘s in-house label Mr. P. has launched an eco-friendly version of its popular Larry sneaker. The upper is made with repurposed grape waste from the Italian wine industry, while the soles are composed of 30% recycled rubber. Crafted in Portugal, the updated take on the minimalist silhouette also features organic cotton laces and an onSteam microfibre lining, made entirely of recyclable polyester that’s breathable, sweat-resistant and designed to feel like leather. Mr. P.’s Eco-Edition Larry Sneakers are currently available in black and white colorways and retail for $335 on mrporter.com.

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