CANTON, Mass. – April 4, 2017 – Today, global fitness brand Reebok announced its “Cotton + Corn” sustainable products initiative, which will bring plant-based footwear to the market later this year.
Cotton + Corn is an initiative developed by the Reebok Future team to create shoes “made from things that grow.” The first release will be a shoe that has an upper comprised of organic cotton and a base originating from industrial grown corn (a non-food source).
“This is really just the first step for us,” said Bill McInnis, Head of Reebok Future. “With Cotton + Corn we’re focused on all three phases of the product lifecycle. First, with product development we’re using materials that grow and can be replenished, rather than the petroleum-based materials commonly used today. Second, when the product hits the market we know our consumers don’t want to sacrifice on how sneakers look and perform. Finally, 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.”
“We like to say, we are ‘growing shoes’ here at Reebok,” said McInnis. “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.”
For the Cotton + Corn initiative, Reebok partnered with DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products, a leading manufacturer of high-performance bio-based solutions. DuPont Tate & Lyle has developed Susterra® propanediol, a pure, petroleum-free, non-toxic, 100% USDA certified bio-based product, derived from field corn. Susterra® propanediol is used to create the sole of the Cotton + Corn shoes.
“Reebok’s philosophy is to ‘Be More Human,’ and sustainability is a core part of that belief. As human beings, we have a responsibility to leave this planet as we found it for future generations,” said Reebok President Matt O’Toole. “Unfortunately, the fact is most shoes just end up in landfills, which is something we are trying to change. As a brand, we will be focusing on sustainability with the Cotton + Corn program as well as other initiatives we have in the works.”
The Reebok Future team is Reebok’s innovation department dedicated to creating new technologies, ideas, techniques and prototypes.
“Reebok has a long history of innovation and of being a socially responsible company,” said O’Toole. “The Reebok Future team was created to innovate not only the products we make, but also the process by which we make them. Cotton + Corn is another great example of this, and one that can have a long-term positive impact on the world.”
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Reebok International Ltd., headquartered in Canton, MA, USA, is a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of fitness and lifestyle footwear, apparel and equipment. An American-inspired global brand, Reebok is a pioneer in the sporting goods industry with a rich and storied fitness heritage. Reebok develops products, technologies and programming which enable movement and is committed to accompanying people on their journey to fulfill their potential. Reebok connects with the fitness consumer wherever they are and however they choose to stay fit – whether it’s functional training, running, combat training, walking, dance, yoga or aerobics. Reebok Classics leverages the brand’s fitness heritage and represents the roots of the brand in the sports lifestyle market. A subsidiary of the adidas Group, Reebok operates under the multiple divisions of the Reebok brand, Reebok-CCM Hockey and the Sports Licensed Division. Reebok is the exclusive outfitter of CrossFit and the CrossFit Games, the official title sponsor of the Reebok Spartan Race; the exclusive authentic global outfitter of UFC; the title sponsor of the Reebok Ragnar Relay series; and exclusive apparel provider for Les Mills.
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About DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products
DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products is a joint venture between DuPont, a global science company, and Tate & Lyle, a world-leading renewable food and industrial ingredients company. DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products provides natural and renewably sourced ingredients that enhance product performance. For more information on Susterra® propanediol, visit www.Susterra-performs.com to see the solutions we offer across a wide variety of markets and applications.
Susterra® and the circle logo are registered trademarks of DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products Company, LLC, for its brands of bio-based propanediol. All rights reserved.