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Launching for World Vegan Day, the New Zealand-based sustainable shoe brand’s latest release features two sneaker models – the Stratus Cactus and the Fractus Cactus – made using a combination of cactus, wood pulp, sugarcane and algae.
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According to YY Nation, which spent three years developing this collection, the material used for the shoe’s upper looks and performs like leather and is formed using the natural materials extracted from shaving the cactus plant’s nopales, or paddles. As for the wood pulp, this is used to create a Tencel lining that helps to wick away moister, while the sugarcane and algae come together for the sneaker’s outsoles.
Both shoe models are considered a lace-up sneaker and will be sold in women’s and men’s sizing. The Fractus Cactus will be available in white with a variety of color accents and black colorways. The Stratus Cactus, which features an additional cactus toe guard, will be available in white/navy, white/clay, white/orange, and black. Each pair retails for $148.
This launch marks the company’s latest milestone in its mission to reaching its sustainability goals. The company said that each new cactus shoe has a carbon footprint of 6.51kg CO2e, which has over two times fewer carbon emissions than conventional sneakers.
“Zero waste is our ultimate goal,” Jeremy Bank, founder and managing director of YY Nation, told FN. “This target will be more attainable in the coming years with new technologies that are set to launch during 2024 and 2025. While we don’t have all the answers, we are on the exciting journey of reinventing how shoes are made.”
First launched in New Zealand in 2019, YY Nation made its U.S. debut in 2021. According to Bank, the brand has seen “phenomenal brand uptake and sales” since its launch stateside. “We have a strong presence particularly across on the West Coast with great retail exposure in Carmel, Calif. and Newport Beach, Calif. as well as smaller boutiques in resort towns like Palm Springs,” the executive said.
Bank added that as the brand gains market share in the States, he has expanded YY Nation’s sales team in the country by 12 new members this year. The executive also noted that he has plans to open new sales offices in Portland, Ore. and in the southeastern region of the country. “With the addition of these new members, we are expecting to substantially increase our retail exposure with selected retail partners during 2024,” Bank said. “We are projecting to see the business more than quadruple its revenue during 2024.”
YY Nation’s latest shoe collection is now available at Yynation.com, Backcountry, Seed Peoples Market, O My Soul, Shoe Fly, Abbadabbas, and many leading independent outdoor and footwear retailers throughout U.S., with selected styles at Famous Footwear.
Fractus Cactus Shoes
Stratus Cactus Shoes
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