The footwear industry is taking a stand on protecting the environment. British brand Vivobarefoot is partnering with Bloom, an American performance-driven materials manufacturer that uses algae biomass to create eco-friendly foams used in footwear.
According to Bloom, algae harvested from freshwater sources around the world helps offset the significant use of the petroleum ingredients that are typically found in conventional flexible foams. The foams can be used for insoles, midsoles, EVA uppers, sock liners or footbeds and offer enhanced shock absorption, reduced weight and improved durability.
The Vivobarefoot x Bloom collaboration will start by using Bloom algae-EVA foams in its Ultra series of molded footwear, a collection of amphibious adventure shoes. A single pair of Vivobarefoot men’s European size 42 shoes returns 57 gallons of clean water to the environment and reduces 40 balloons’ worth of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
“Our goal is to deliver the most performance-driven materials in the most environmentally responsible manner,” said Mike Van Drunen, CEO of Bloom. “It is a goal we constantly strive to improve upon, and we are excited to collaborate with Vivobarefoot on the Ultra line.”
Added Galahad Clark, founder of Vivobarefoot: “This is a true evolution for the footwear industry, with the first plant-based alternative to the petro-foams in ubiquitous use.”
The Ultra shoe using the Bloom technologies will be available for sale in July on vivobarefoot.com.