Global fitness brand Reebok has launched the first product from its highly-anticipated “Cotton + Corn” program: the NPC UK Cotton + Corn sneaker. The shoe is constructed from an upper made of 100 percent cotton, a corn-based sole, insoles that are derived from castor bean oil and comes in packaging that is 100 percent recycled. It retails for $95 and will be available in limited quantities, exclusively on its website.
The sustainable products initiative, which was announced last yea,. aims to produce footwear with “things that grow.” For the Cotton + Corn initiative, Reebok partnered with DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products, a leading manufacturer of high-performance biobased solutions, to create the sole of the NPC UK Cotton + Corn footwear.
“Most athletic footwear is made using petroleum to create synthetic rubber and foam cushioning systems,” said Bill McInnis, Head of Reebok Future. “With 20 billion pairs of shoes made every year, this is not a sustainable way of making footwear. At Reebok, we thought ‘what if we start with materials that grow, and use plants rather than oil-based materials?’ By using sustainable resources as our foundation, and then through ongoing testing and development, we were able to create a plant-based sneaker that performs and feels like any other shoe. And this is just the start for us. We are on an ongoing path to create a different type of footwear – so that you can feel good about what you’re wearing and where it came from.”