New Balance is adding an eco-preferred collection of shoes to its outdoor category that uses environmentally-preferred materials, construction and manufacturing processes.
As part of the Boston-based company’s corporate-wide sustainability initiative that targets product, manufacturing and facilities, the launch of the New Balance 70 collection this month is aimed at fashionable consumers who consider the environment when making their purchases.
The shoe manufacturer said that seventy-five percent of the upper components are made of “environmentally preferred materials.” The laces, webbing, rand, quarter, tongue and saddle incorporate recycled polyester, while the foxing and the tip of the shoe are constructed of synthetics made with fewer solvents than traditional materials.
In addition, rice husk filler in the outsole reduces the amount of rubber needed, thus reducing the amount of petroleum used. Water-based adhesives (rather than solvent-based) are used to join the upper and the sole unit and no paper stuffing or paper wrapping are used in the packaging of the 70 collection.
The design of the shoes also focuses on the reduction of waste. For example, the upper is constructed with minimal layers to reduce unnecessary material usage, and construction of the shoe is designed to use as much of the original cutting material as possible.
Other shoe manufacturers have environmentally friendly lines, as well.
Timberland recently introduced a recyclable boot.
And Keds has a green line of footwear.