Americans throw away roughly 300 million pairs of shoes each year. That’s nearly one pair for every man, woman, and child in this country and sneakers, particularly, have long been one of the worst culprits contributing to the world’s plastic waste pile-up. So, it was about time that a shoe company began addressing the issue at its roots. Enter Native Shoes.
On June 12, Native Shoes launched its Plant Shoe – the first and only biodegradable modern sneaker crafted entirely out of plant-derived materials.
Founded in 2009, the Vancouver, Canada-based global footwear brand has stayed grounded in its philosophy and mantra to “live lightly.” In fact, the brand’s long-term goal is to become 100% life-cycle managed by 2023 and The Plant Shoe is the first step toward making that happen.
Through extensive research, detailed development, and pioneering innovation, the Native Shoes Plant Shoe implemented a non-chemical and non-animal-derived construction technique to avoid the use of widespread synthetic materials and binding agents so often used in the footwear industry today. Made from materials like pineapple husk, corn, and eucalyptus, the Plant Shoe not only feels good on your feet, but its light environmental impact ensures you will feel good about wearing them, too.
The Plant Shoe was meticulously designed with style as well as sustainability in mind while sacrificing neither quality or comfort. Featuring a retro vibe and soft design that screams summer, the Native Shoes Plant Shoe is brimming with admirable, innovative materials. First, the eco-friendly sneakers boast a natural hevea milk outsole for comfort, a pressure absorbing cork-and-sisal backing midsole, and a eucalyptus lasting board to provide durable construction you can rely on.
The Plant Shoe also features an olive oil soaked jute thread, which has a long tradition in woodworking as it fills the vacancies in wood fibers, making it more resistant to absorbing moisture and helps prevent the expansion of the natural materials. This natural binding is then enhanced with Native Shoes’ use of natural latex-based glue.
Other design components include an organic linen sock liner crafted with a soft kenaf and corn felt insole, an insanely lightweight and breathable upper constructed from carded pineapple husk and organic cotton, as well as fully organic cotton laces. The Plant Shoe is a unisex style available in one natural colorway, sizes 8-13 for men.
Native Shoes has also begun production on its Remix Project, which aims to recycle the unique composition of your beloved sneakers and repurpose them in new ways, such as the creation of communal seating, playground flooring, insulation, and more.
It’s about time we started making an effort to preserve and protect the environment around us, and buying sustainable sneakers is a great place to start.
For another environmentally friendly shoe that hit the market recently, check out Sole and United by Blue’s bison boot.
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