Reebok has found an unexpected way to promote its new eco-friendly performance sneakers: the brand partnered with a Boston-area farm to serve them up to customers with a side of fresh veggies.
The first 50 buyers of the new design, called Forever Floatride Grow, will receive a half-bushel of produce in a sustainable wooden crate from Siena Farms in Sudbury, Mass. They’ll also trigger an identical giveaway to a food-insecure family from the pesticide-free farm, which grows more than 100 varieties of vegetables.
Anyone who wants to claim the offer needs to sign up with the brand’s loyalty program, which is free, at Reebok Unlocked.
The environmentally conscious sneakers, announced in December and described by the brand as the first performance shoes made from plants, are the “result of a long journey to create a plant-based running shoe that look and perform like other best-in-class footwear and can withstand running a marathon,” said Emily Mullins, the brand’s product director.
Made from castor beans, eucalyptus and algae
“It’s an important milestone for sustainable performance as making running shoes out of plants is challenging because they need to withstand impact,” Mullins said. “We have been able to replace petroleum-based plastics that are traditionally used in running shoes with plant-based plastics. We expect to be able to use more plant-based alternatives for our products moving forward and we’ll move fast in this space.”
Reebok tested a variety of materials, among them fruits and mushrooms, before finding the recipe for Forever Floatride Grow. The product is made from castor beans, biodegradable eucalyptus trees, sustainably sourced rubber and algae foam. (The connection to the farm box is symbolic, not literal, since the shoes contain no kale, cauliflower, squash or other seasonal items that will be contained in the giveaway).
A number of challenger brands, including Allbirds, Toms and Everlane, have released better-for-the-planet kicks, while Vans, Puma, Nike and other established players have premiered their own versions of “organic” and “vegan” shoes to cater to growing demand for more sustainable fashion.
The Adidas-owned Reebok, like many in the category, has been stepping up its sustainability efforts, creating products from recycled materials. The plant-based Forever Floatride Grow, one of the company’s attempts to wean itself from petroleum ingredients, debuts after “extensive testing to ensure athletes wouldn’t feel any difference when running in a plant-based shoe.”
The shoes go on sale Oct. 1, at a launch price of $120 for men and women.
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