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New plant-based shoes from Vivobarefoot

Leading barefoot footwear company continues on its mission to becoming 90% sustainable by 2020.

11th September 2018

Innovation in Textiles
 |  San Diego

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable, Sports/​Outdoor

Vivobarefoot, a minimalist running shoe company, has announced plans to bring a plant-based shoe range to the market. The new Primus Bio range will use a plant-based polymer— a product based on industrial field corn — in its sole and upper and will be the lightest and most environmentally-sound shoe range available to-date, the company reports.

Seventh-generation shoemakers Galahad and Asher Clark are firm believers that barefoot shoe making is sustainable shoe making. The Primus Bio is Vivobarefoot’s latest step in the quest to use 90% sustainable materials across its entire product range by 2020.

The company has already pioneered shoes made of repurposed algae (Ultra 3 BLOOM), and an Eco range made of 50% recycled plastic, with 17 recycled bottles per pair. According to Vivobarefoot, in 2017, it diverted over 2 million plastic bottles from landfills into barefoot shoes.

“Sixty percent of the outsole and 30% of the upper of the Primus Bio is made from Susterra propanediol based Bio-TPU – making a shoe that we believe to be the least petroleum-reliant performance shoe in the world,” the company explains.

Susterra Propanediol, manufactured by DuPont Tate & Lyle, is created through a fermentation process using plant-derived glucose from the starch found in field corn and is petroleum-free, non-toxic and 100% USDA certified. The material is said to give shoes greater flexibility in the cold and to be incredibly resilient to abrasions and general wear. Susterra propanediol uses 52% less energy than the standard petroleum-based materials used by the global footwear industry and 32% less greenhouse gas emissions, according to the manufacturer.

“Sustainability is our journey and we believe that the perfect shoe has minimal interference with natural movement and minimal impact on the environment,” said Asher Clark, Design Director at Vivobarefoot.

“The Primus Bio champions the future of sustainable materials which I believe will be largely bio-based. This is an exciting step in the right direction away from the single use petroleum-based alternatives commonly used in athletic footwear and every action counts in our journey of redefining the world’s relationship with environmentally-damaging materials.”

The Primus Bio will be available to purchase from the Vivobarefoot website in 2019.

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