High tops, laces, velcro, leather, knit, color, and now biodegradable. Sneaker lovers know how hard it is to pick the perfect shoe. Depending on your mood or lifestyle, buyers swing towards a different type. However, now there is one more option: biodegradable. Reebok recently announced that by Fall 2017, they plan to release a sneaker that is completely eco-friendly.
The shoe will be modeled after the company’s “Classics” sneaker. However, the materials will be completely different. The upper section will be made of sustainable organic cotton, the sole will be made from industrial grown corn and the lace’s eyelets will be stitched instead of made from plastic or metal.
Bill McInnis, head of Reebok’s Future division said “It was standing back and looking at the whole athletic shoe industry. The way shoes are made is not the cleanest process right now, and what happens to shoes when you’re done is not the cleanest process either … The idea is to look at the entire shoe life cycle, both how you make it and what happens to it when people are (no longer) wearing it.’’
Reebok’s main demographic is millennials. Reebok has certainly done its research, with its main consumers, before making this environmentally conscious decision. The company spoke to consumers and discovered that sustainability its important to them, and would like the products they wear to be eco-friendly.
Although sustainability was high on their consumer’s concerns, they were also not willing to lose on fashion. Consumers expect all the bells and whistles when paying top dollar. Therefore, Reebok plans to make the sneaker still look, and feel, the same as their original Classics sneakers.
The company plans to price the sneaker close to style after which it is model. The Reebok’s Classics currently retails from $59.99 to $179.99.
However, some companies like PUMA, have tried an eco-friendly line and failed. In 2013, PUMA released a line of biodegradable and recyclable backpacks and tracksuits. The line failed to gain popularity, and was eventually pulled from development.
But, Reebok is hopeful and is already looking towards the future. If this original eco-friendly model is successful they hope to have a long line of plant-based footwear.