“Reebok is trying to clean up the entire life cycle of shoemaking: from what shoes are made of to where they end up,” explains Bill McInnis, vice president of Reebok’s Future Team. That vision has led to the creation of Reebok’s new Vegan Sneakers. Reebok came up with the new Cotton + Corn initiative, which is focused on creating truly environmentally friendly products. Their first product is the first-ever plant-based athletic shoe.
The Cotton + Corn shoe starts with an upper that is made from organic cotton. The sole is made from corn. In other words, the shoe is entirely bio-based. Everything about it comes from plants. “Typical shoes are made from oil-based plastics that can sit around in landfills for hundreds of years when you’re done with them,” says McInnis. “We’re focusing on creating shoes made from things that grow, made from things that bio-compost, made from things that can be replenished.”
That’s the truly neat thing about these shoes—once you’re done with them, they can be composted and used to grow more of the plants that made them in the first place.
And this is just the first step for the Cotton + Corn initiative. “This is just the beginning for Reebok,” McInnis states. “We now have the formula to replicate this across a range of sneakers. This is the blueprint for a lot of shoes to come.”