Launching the World’s Most Eco-friendly Shoe

In March, Scream Agency had the opportunity to help be the storytellers for two brands that are innovating and improving how they impact our planet. Our clients SOLE, along with United By Blue, officially launched on Kickstarter ‘the world’s most eco-friendly shoe, featuring recycled cork, bison fiber, merino wool, rice rubber, and algae foam. Within 84 minutes, the campaign was fully funded and by the end of the campaign there were 3,523 backers pledging $515,434 to help bring this project to life.

The global footwear industry produces 23 billion pairs of shoes per year. The average American buys 7 pairs of shoes each year. We, as consumers, need to start thinking about what we purchase and which brands we support.

SOLE and United By Blue have collaborated to make the most eco-friendly shoe they could imagine. This Jasper Wool Eco Chukka was designed to be totally sustainable in every element from tongue-to-tread, without compromising on comfort, quality or durability.

At the heart of this shoe is the revolutionary ReCORK recycled cork midsole, made entirely from recycled wine corks. In 2008, SOLE launched ReCORK, North America’s largest cork recycling program, which recycles used wine corks into sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based foams and plastics. As a cork collection partner at Scream Agency, we will continue to collect recycled natural corks and we have a big goal to collect 50,000 this year. Bring us your corks please! Or, find a place to recycle corks in your area.

Having made this ReCORK breakthrough SOLE asked themselves, why stop here? What if we could design every piece of a shoe to complement this super sustainable midsole? They set out on a mission to find natural, sustainable materials that meet and exceed the performance and durability of synthetic alternatives. That’s where United By Blue comes in.

UBB’s award-winning BisonShield™ insulation offers the perfect combination of sustainability, quality and performance. It’s made from 50 percent natural bison hair, and 50 percent recycled polyester. It’s lightweight and flexible, it holds its shape and it’ll retain warmth even when wet. It’s also hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial, breathable and temperature regulating. UBB spent five years developing a supply chain to recover the natural hollow-fibre bison hair that had previously been discarded as waste from other industries.

Next comes the footbed. This is where SOLE has been a leader for years. Many who have suffered from orthopedic ailments, including myself, have found that SOLE customizable footbeds are the most effective over-the-counter insole to alleviate foot pain such as plantar fasciitis. Their signature insole is being made with Bloom Algae Foam. BLOOM™removes algae from harmful algal blooms in natural waterways and uses it to make a foam that’s as durable as petroleum-based alternatives, with 40 percent less environmental impact. The outsole is made of rice rubber which takes natural rubber and adds rice husks for added durability. Natural rubber is made from the sap of carbon-trapping rubber trees, rather than the petroleum-based equivalent. Harvesting the sap causes no harm to the tree and processing it takes 7 times less energy than petroleum-based rubber.

So, what do you get when you cross wine corks, bison hair, merino wool, algae, rice husks, bamboo and natural rubber? Meet the world’s most eco-friendly shoe, the product of a collaboration by @itsyoursole and @unitedbyblue. #SOLEofAdventure #bluemovement

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