Whilst we are at the beginning of our story, we realise that progress is a marathon and not a sprint. There are no short cuts or easy solutions, real progress will come from commitment and accountability to a long-term vision that keeps us all on the right path.
That’s where Made from good decisions™ drives us to explore the possibilities of new trails and unexplored relationships across industries and people that share our spirit and vision. This is an area where we are busy building innovative material and manufacturing partnerships, and together we are pushing towards the goal of fully plant based products - filling in the gaps to what is currently available with out of the box thinking and eco-rooted solutions.
We’ve prioritized natural alternatives to traditional materials wherever we can, and fill in the gaps with other eco-rooted solutions.
We focus on working with the right partners in everything that we do, from sourcing through manufacturing to shipping - right through to our run club coaches.
Our mantra guides everything that we do, knowing that the world isn’t perfect and that we will face some tough choices, making good decisions will make our path incrementally better day by day. This isn’t a sprint to get past an imaginary finish line, this is a marathon that can change the industry for the better.
A significant percentage of athletic footwear and apparel is made from oil based materials - a fossil fuel that's accelerating climate change - in fact the apparel and footwear industries currently account for nearly as much of the global greenhouse gas emissions as the whole of Europe combined.
What’s even crazier is that core materials and manufacturing methods haven't moved too far past where they were in the 1980's. Low cost and mass availability being a more common measure than the impact on the climate.
Whilst a small brand cannot change the world on our own, we are hopeful that we can show that the steps forward that we are making prove that sustainable and plant based solutions deserve a seat at the table - and don't have to be an excuse.
Building a running shoe is like baking a cake. It requires skill, patience and a blend of just the right ingredients. We ‘bake’ our ZR 01 running shoe from three main plant-based ingredients: sugarcane, eucalyptus, and natural rubber. Then we add a sprinkling of sustainable and recycled extras to get the performance just right – but as soon as bio tech allows us, we'll be serving 100% plant-based.
Running shoes often wrap your foot in a soft, lightweight mesh, made by melting down plastic, turning the sticky liquid into thin threads, which are woven together to form the fabric.
However, the downside is poisonous carbon disulphide pollution, CO2 emissions that contribute to climate change, and plastic micro particles that will be here for centuries.
We create a material of the finest performance, using the same process, but our ‘plastic’ is a pulp made from sustainable eucalyptus trees, grown in managed forests with natural methods and rain water, absorbing C02 to be carbon negative and helping tackle climate change. Our tree fibres become a thread called Lyocell.
The soft midsole that sits beneath your foot is made from a material called EVA. It cushions, supports and propels you forward into your next stride.
Standard EVA foam is created from an oil based plastic, which unfortunately means harmful CO2 emissions that contribute to climate change, and plastic micro particles that will be here for centuries.
We create a material of the finest performance, using the same process, but our EVA is made from a mix that includes sugar cane. Yes, that same sugar we like in cakes and candy. It looks a little like bamboo, and is grown sustainably using natural methods and rain water, as it absorbs C02 to be carbon negative and help tackle climate change.
Giving sure footed confidence on the ground, our outsole is designed to last. Most running shoes use a synthetic rubber compound – a flexible oil based material that unfortunately comes with all the usual eco downsides of plastics.
Our natural rubber is FSC approved, responsibly grown in the warmth and rain of a tropical climate. As with all plant based materials, the growing process absorbs CO2 to be carbon negative and to help tackle climate change.
In order to provide the functionality and durability demanded of a performance running shoe, our rubber is mixed with small amounts of additives that aren’t yet plant based. But with bio tech rapidly advancing, we're aiming to be 100% organic.
Our ultimate goal is to create 100% plant-based products within a perfect ‘closed loop’. Where the soil created from composting our old shoes helps grow the materials to make our new shoes. We’re not there yet, but much of our idea is already happening…
Plants are grown sustainably and responsibly using natural methods and rain water, to create our core materials. They capture CO2 that helps reduce the effects of climate change, and any organic waste from harvesting becomes the compost to grow another crop.
The production facilities first turn these plants into pulps and liquids, then threads and foams. This process captures clean, useful by-products such as ethanol and renewable energy.
Moulded, woven, and assembled using water based glues and dyes, for a healthy working environment. Packed into a shoe box made from recyclable cardboard sourced from responsibly managed, FSC certified, forests.
We only work with a small number of manufacturers that are willing to commit to our Code Of Conduct. This ensures workers are treated with dignity, fairness, and an elevated regard for their health and safety. We seek suppliers who work to improve the standard of living for their employees through wage systems and benefits. And we also expect full transparency of all partners’ supply chains, and visibility into the names and locations of their sub-suppliers.
Read our Code of Conduct in its entirety here.
Read our code of conduct HERE