When it comes to protecting the environment, Prasad Reddy, CEO of Twisted X, believes there’s strength in numbers. The company, which continues to ramp up its eco-friendly offering, is eager to have other footwear brands join the movement.
“It’s good to have as many companies as possible involved,” said Reddy. “This is a huge problem for everyone in the world. Everyone has to embrace it and do their part so our kids can have a decent planet.”
The Twisted X line of casual, work and Western looks, launched its first sustainability products in 2017 under the Eco X umbrella, an extension to its casual offering for men, women and children. The new eco-friendly styles put the focus on ecoTWX, an upper material made from recycled plastic.
Taking the green initiative further, the company added sustainable materials to its core work and Western shoes including agricultural waste such as algae, rice husks and sugar cane molasses, as well as natural materials such as cork, merino wool and bamboo.
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While Reddy projects 80% of the brand’s casuals will feature sustainable components by 2021, finding suitable materials has been challenging. For the development of ecoTWX, he connected with a company creating blankets out of water bottles, working with it to modify the fabric for shoes.
According to Reddy, it didn’t take long for Adidas to learn about the material, asking the supplier if it could leverage it as well. “We need to let all of those who have the ability to see these products and make a difference,” he said. “It’s about the whole of us doing good together.”
The eco-friendly styles also allowed Twisted X to expand distribution beyond its core Western and work accounts. In fall ’19, fashion retailers including Dillard’s and Zappos took notice, picking up the collection. Overall, sales for its earth-friendly products were up 40% in 2019.
According to Reddy, transparency is critical when it comes to familiarizing consumers with sustainable goods. The company details these products on its website and social media channels, in addition to providing stores with point-of-sale materials including information in shoe boxes that provide customers with 10 things they can do to protect the environment. “We’re telling the story at all levels,” said Reddy, “from a corporate standpoint to the retailer — all the way down to the consumer.”
The company’s environmental efforts extend beyond product, too. For every pair of ecoTWX shoes sold, the firm plants a tree in partnership with One Tree Planted. So far, Twisted X has planted 200,000 trees, restoring 4,000 acres of forests and has pledged not to ship products through the arctic waters. All of these efforts support the company goal of being carbon neutral by the end of 2020.