Get ready for eco-conscious, animal-friendly sole food from Reebok. The athletic company’s new Cotton + Corn initiative features footwear with soles made from corn and uppers made from organic cotton. The shoes are sustainable and free of leather and polyurethane. And they’ve earned the company an Innovator for Animals Award from PETA. Reebok initially launched the collection with leather pieces on the tongue and heel, but after hearing from PETA, it replaced the animal skin with vegan material. PETA has urged Reebok to stop using leather, given the negative environmental impact and cruelty to animals inherent in the leather industry.
“Reebok is at the forefront of a vegan revolution using high-tech materials that are kind to the Earth and all its inhabitants,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on retailers around the world to follow Reebok’s example and develop high-performance fabrics that spare cows terrible deaths and spare the environment toxic tanneries.”
“We like to say, we are ‘growing shoes’ here at Reebok,” said Bill McInnis, Head of Reebok Future. “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.”
A PETA video exposé of the world’s largest leather producer revealed that gentle cows and bulls were branded on the face, electroshocked, and beaten before being killed for their skin. The process of turning animal skin into leather also requires the use of chemicals, including cyanide, and produces massive amounts of the carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change.
Reebok is in good company with its Innovator for Animals Award: Fellow winners include Piñatex, which creates durable vegan leather from pineapples, and The North Face, which won for both its silk-free Moon Parka and its down-free ThermoBall technology.
Source: PETA Blog, press release, 2019-04-19.
Author: Michelle Kretzer