Sportswear brand Reebok has revealed the first product from its sustainability initiative Cotton + Corn — a pair of trainers with a bioplastic sole. Reebok launched the Cotton + Corn initiative last year to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry, starting with finding an alternative to the petroleum-based rubber and foam soles that are used in footwear. "Most athletic footwear is made using petroleum to create synthetic rubber and foam cushioning systems," said Reebok innovation head Bill McInnis. "With 20 billion pairs of shoes made every year, this is not a sustainable way of making footwear." "We thought ‘what if we start with materials that grow, and use plants rather than oil-based materials?’," he continued. The NPC UK Cotton + Corn sneaker is one of the results. It features a sole made from corn, while its insole is derived from castor bean oil, and the upper woven from 100 per cent cotton. A total of 75 per cent of the sneaker is bio-based content, as certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). McInnis says the shoe has undergone rigorous testing and development, and "performs and feels like any other shoe". Reebok — which since 2005 […]

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