Reebok plans to have plant-based footwear on the market by the end of the year.

It announced the launch of its Cotton + Corn initiative earlier this month, to produce sustainable bio-based products ‘made from things that grow’. Organic cotton will form part of the first shoe as well as industrially grown corn.

Bill McInnis, Head of Reebok Future – the team spearheading the project, said: “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.”

Reebok is collaborating with DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products on this pioneering venture, a leading manufacturer of bio-based products. Its Susterra® propanedio bio product, derived from corn, will be used to make the sole of the first shoe from the ‘Cotton + Corn’ campaign.

Reebok President Matt O’Toole added: “Reebok has a long history of innovation and of being a socially responsible company. The Reebok Future team was created to innovate not only the products we make, but also the process by which we make them. Cotton + Corn is another great example of this, and one that can have a long-term positive impact on the world.”