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    April 5, 2017

    Reebok is developing bio-degradable, plant-based shoes

    Reebok Cotton Corn

    Reebok has launched a new initiative dubbed Cotton + Corn, which is developing sneakers that can be composted after they’ve been worn out.

    What happens when a set of shoes has fully outworn their welcome? Usually, they end up on the rubbish heap – but thanks to a new initiative named Cotton + Corn, Reebok is seeking to develop kicks that can be composted once they’ve concluded their life cycle.

    Following on from efforts in which Reebok created a shoe from ocean plastic, the Cotton + Corn initiative is focussed on developing shoes that are fully sustainable, having been made from growing materials that can hence be composted once they’ve been worn out.

    Read: Google and Levis are teaming up to make a connected jacket

    In a statement to Engadget, Reebok Future head Bill McInnis offered that “We like to say, we are ‘growing shoes’ here at Reebok. 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.”

    The shoe produced by the Cotton + Corn initiative won’t be available until later on in 2017, but Reebok has clarified that the sole of the finished article will originate from ‘non food source’ industrially-grown corn. The upper will be made of organic cotton.

    McInnis confirmed to Engadget that the project is in its infancy, and that he expects the company to adopt the processes used to create the final shoe as a blueprint for other sustainable footwear.

    Read: 3D printed clothing and other high-tech garments on the CES runway

    What are your thoughts? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!

    Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

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