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Reebok takes action against climate change and action for a better future

by | Dec 7, 2021

Sustainability requires consistent effort, innovation and change. Reebok is doing just that – and making it actionable and accessible to help everyone make the transition to sustainable living.

Reebok has been at the forefront of change in athletic footwear for decades. For example, it released the first ever running shoe designed for women, the Aztec Princess, and now it has released an eco-conscious, plant-based performance shoe, the Nano X1 Vegan, which is made up of 100% animal-free and recycled materials and products. By innovating and using eco-friendly alternatives, Reebok’s ambition is for sustainable practices to be an intrinsic part of our everyday lifestyles. They not only want to help you take care of yourself, but also take care of our planet.

Nano X1 Vegan

Plans for the plant-based footwear began in 2014. Mike Andrews, Director of Advanced Development for Reebok’s Future, noted that the journey to launching a fully sustainable, eco-conscious shoe required a paradigm shift at the core of Reebok, and to his understanding of sustainability.  The process of testing and experimenting with natural materials contradicted Mike’s assumptions, and was a challenging, yet rewarding feat.

In 2017, Reebok released cotton and corn sneakers which was the beginning of the transition to sustainable footwear. Three years later in September 2020, and after more research and development, Forever Floatride Grow, the first plant-based sustainable running shoe was launched. At the time, Emily Mullins, Product Director at Reebok said in a statement, “This shoe is the result of a long journey to create a plant-based running shoe that looks and performs like other best-in-class footwear and can withstand running a marathon.”

Mullins continued, “We have been able to replace petroleum-based plastics that are traditionally used in running shoes with plant-based plastics. We expect to be able to use more plant-based alternatives for our products moving forward and we’ll move fast in this space. We have a responsibility and opportunity to help the planet. It’s the right thing to do.”

Forever Floatride GROW

Reebok’s growing collection of sustainable athletic wear is inspired by nature and follows a colour palette of earthy tones and has an organic look and feel.  “[W]e at Reebok have become even more committed to be a leader and to move the industry in a positive direction,” Mike says. “We were able to take what we learned and pivot to create, test and produce products that delivered on our goal of changing the important front end of the process – what our shoes are made of.”

The goal towards sustainability is to have all products sustainably-made by 2030.

The commitment to sustainability is twofold: REE-grow and REE-cycle. By changing out synthetic, fossil-fuel derived fibres for organic materials, Reebok aims for all their products to be sustainably made and good for our planet. Using nature-based materials such as Eucalyptus, Bloom Algae, Castor Bean Oil and Natural Rubber, the company ensures that it is not contributing to the extractive economic models for the fashion industry, but rather using what’s at hand. Organic material is not only waste-free, but it decomposes back into nature.

The second goal, REE-cycle, is for products to be made from more than 30% of recycled materials and without virgin polyester. Reebok also plans to swap out regular cotton with better organic cotton. Finally, Reebok hopes to Colour with Care by dyeing garments in harmony with nature. With natural dyes, or even eliminating the dyeing process and keeping it natural, Reebok products will not use harmful synthetic dyes.

“There is still more to learn and do but that’s the way it should be when you’re trying to break new ground and change the sustainability landscape of sports footwear,” Andrews says.

While there is still a long way to go, Reebok is prepared to take action against climate change and action for a better future.

  • #SponsoredPost
  • Images via Reebok. Sneakers featured here are Nano X1 Vegan and Forever Floatride GROW
  • Reebok South Africa is a sponsor of the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards 2021, presenting the Influencer Category which was won by cnscs_ (Stella Hertantyo and Masego Morgan)


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