Reebok Launches Their First Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Shoe Made Out Of Corn

reebok cotton corn shoes

There’s been a movement to make eco-friendly products that are sustainable and Reebok just joined in on that progress. On Tuesday, Reebok unveiled the company’s first plant-based shoe made out of cotton and corn.

The natural sneaker is called the NPC UK Cotton + Corn. Reebok teamed up with DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio, a global producer of petroleum-free, sustainable, and renewable products. Together they created shoes that are made of natural, sustainable substances such as cotton and corn.

The upper is constructed from organic cotton, the base comes from corn that is usually used to feed livestock, and even the insole is made from castor bean oil. There is only the “natural/chalk” color option because the company did not want to use dyes that could be harmful to the environment. The packaging is 100% made of recycled materials.

Over 20 billion pairs of shoes are manufactured every year and approximately 300 million pairs end up in landfills. Reebok wanted to create bio-based sneakers that were made out of things that grow to cut down on the waste. It took Reebok five years to develop the Cotton and Corn sneaker.

“It didn’t start out with corn and cotton, it started out with recycling, compostability, where do we want to land. Our issue with recycling is you recycle plastic, it’s still plastic…You’re not getting rid of the problem,” Bill McInnis, Vice President Reebok Future, told CBS News. “The idea is how do you get rubber and plastic out of the process and replace it with natural things that grow like corn.”

The first sneakers are made up of 75 percent USDA-certified biological materials, which is far better for the environment than typical sneakers made from oil-based foam, plastic, and rubber.

Reebok plans to continue with the Cotton & Corn line and improve upon the shoes. The sneaker company’s ultimate “goal is to create a broad selection of bio-based footwear that can be composted after use.” The second generation of these sneakers hope to be compostable.

Reebok is selling a limited amount of the NPC UK Cotton + Corn on their website for $95.


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