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