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Sustainability Matters: Coach to Incorporate Regenerative Raw Materials Into Future Product + More

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

Jan. 20, 2022: Tapestry, Inc. and its Coach brand announced on Thursday that they are taking steps to further improve the sustainability of their supply chains through a new partnership with the Savory Institute’s Land to Market Program, the first verified sourcing solution for regenerative agriculture. By utilizing regenerative raw materials that have a net positive impact on the environment, improve biodiversity, and result in a reduction of CO2 emissions, Tapestry and Coach will be able to further reduce its impact on climate change, the companies said in a statement. “While our Coach (Re)Loved collection gives many of our beloved bags a second life, this newly established membership with Land to Market supports the restoration and vitality of the grasslands,” said Todd Kahn, CEO and brand president of Coach, in a statement. We are committed to further reducing our environmental impacts by continuing to engage with our supply chain, and increasing renewable energy, environmentally preferred materials, and traceability.”

Jan. 19, 2022: Maison Valentino is aiming to become more sustainable with the launch of its new “Open for a Change” project. According to the Italian luxury brand, the Open for a Change project will debut with the launch of two signature Valentino sneakers – Open and Rockstud Untitled – redesigned with the partial use of recycled and bio-based materials, a first for the label. Available in a variety of different colorways, these models lay on a foundation of bio-based materials, employed as an alternative to leather produced from viscose and polyurethane of corn-derived polyols. These materials partially make up the upper of both models and part of the Open’s side band; the strings are completely made of recycled polyester, while the Valentino trademark studs on the Rockstud Untitled are also made of recycled nylon. This new environment-centric approach is reflected in the shoe case and the packaging too, which are made of fully recycled cotton and paper, the latter sourced from sustainably-managed forests.

Maison Valentino Open For a Change Sneakers
CREDIT: Courtesy of Valentino

Jan. 14, 2022: Koio is launching its first capsule collection using vegetable-tanned leather sourced from regenerative farms in Surselva, Switzerland. Called Capri Regenerative, the line includes the brand’s bestselling Capri sneaker in the Onyx and Castagna colorways featuring the new finish. The styles will be available in men and women’s sizes and retail for $328 on koio.com starting Jan. 21.

koio capri sneaker
CREDIT: Courtesy of Koio

Jan. 10, 2022: Timberland is aiming to breathe new life into worn items with its new Timberloop take-back program. Through this program, consumers are encouraged to return any used Timberland footwear, clothing, or accessories that will then be reused, recycled, or upcycled into new products, or refurbished for sale on a dedicated web site launching later this spring. Clearly marked donation boxes have been installed in each full price and outlet Timberland store, complemented by a convenient digital ship-from-home option. Beyond helping preserve the planet, participants in the Timberloop program will receive a 10% discount toward their next purchase. Timberland added that it aims for 100% of its products to be designed for full circularity by 2030. And on Earth Day (April 22), the brand will unveil the Timberloop Trekker City Hiker, its latest eco-innovation specifically designed for circularity. Along with sneaker-like comfort and a progressive outdoor look, this city hiker features a unique sole construction whereby the outsoles can be easily removed and disassembled for recycling through the Timberloop platform.

Timberloop by Timberland
CREDIT: Courtesy of Timberland

Jan. 7, 2022: A new bill is making some headway in the New York State Senate this week. Called the “Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act” (or Fashion Act), the new piece of legislation that was first drafted in October has reached the Senate’s Consumer Protection committee this week. The bill, if passed, would make New York the first state in the country to pass legislation that will effectively hold the biggest brands in fashion accountable for their role in climate change. Sponsored by State Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblywoman Anna R. Kelles, the bill requires fashion retail sellers and manufacturers to disclose environmental and social due diligence policies; establishes a community benefit fund for the purpose of implementing one or more environmental benefit projects that directly and verifiably benefit environmental justice communities.

Big Initiatives in 2021

Dec. 20, 2021: Alibaba Group has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality in its own operations by 2030. The company also introduced a Scope 3+ target, which will help the company achieve 1.5 gigatons of decarbonization by 2035. “We aspire to be a force for positive, innovative change in society. Our ESG strategy is predicated on our mission to be a good company that will live for 102 years and it is the vital foundation for Alibaba’s future development,” said Daniel Zhang, chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group.

Nov. 18, 2021: Macy’s will soon sell shoes from Stardog Loungewear on Macy.com and in stores, expanding its commitment sourcing products made from sustainable materials. Stardog is known for offering sustainable sneakers made of 100% hemp. Starting Dec. 1, Macy’s will launch the collection with the Startonic House Shoe and Expedition Sneaker with plans to expand to include more products in the future.

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