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Reebok is “growing shoes” with its new biodegradable sneakers

Reebok is trying a new approach to footwear with a new product, “made out of things that grow”. The company is trying to promote Earth friendly merchandise with its “Cotton + Corn” sustainable products initiative.

Reebok is heading for the launch of its new “Cotton + Corn” sneakers in an effort to promote sustainable products. The company’s Future team was given the instruction to develop products made out of “things that grow” and the developers are ready with their newest invention, a shoe that has an upper part comprised of organic cotton and a base originating from industrial grown corn.

And Reebok had three things in mind when it developed the new product, first it was the customer experience, knowing that buyers do not want to compromise when it comes to quality and performance and the developers also wanted to replace the currently used materials, based on petroleum products, with ones that can be replenished, hence the “things that grow” instruction.


Last but not least, Reebok considered what happened to the shoes after customers do not need them anymore. Cotton and corn will allow for sneakers and other products to be recycled when worn-out.

“We care about what happens to the shoes when people are done with them. So we’ve focused on plant-based materials such as corn and cotton at the beginning, and compostability in the end,” said Bill McInnis, Head of Reebok Future. “Ultimately, our goal is to create a broad selection of bio-based footwear that can be composted after use. We’ll then use that compost as part of the soil to grow the materials for the next range of shoes. We want to take the entire cycle into account; to go from dust to dust.”

To reach their goals, Reebok partnered up with DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products, a leading manufacturer of high-performance bio-based solutions.

With their new compostable products, Reebok caters to Millennials which, studies have shown, are more interested in products that cause less of a damage to the environment.

Reebok in not the only company to try to promote eco-friendly footwear but not all initiatives were successful.

Sylvia Jacob