Corn. It’s not just for soaking in butter or rotating on a drill at 2500 RPM.

While Nike has made huge strides to minimize their environmental footprint, and Adidas has been introducing shoes made from plastic sourced from ocean waste, Reebok is the latest footwear company to get in on the sustainability action with the announcement of a new eco-friendly line of footwear.

Simply called “Cotton + Corn”, the line of shoes will use DuPont’s Susterra Propanediol to craft a 100% sustainably and renewably sourced outsole that will be paired with an upper created from organically-sourced cotton. The shoes are so eco-friendly, they can even be used as compost at the end of their life.

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“This is really just the first step for us,” explains Bill McInnis, Head of Reebok Future. “With Cotton + Corn”, we’re focused on all three phases of the product lifecycle. First, with product development, we’re using materials that grow and can be replenished, rather than the petroleum-based materials commonly used today. Second, when the product hits the market we know our consumers don’t want to sacrifice on how sneakers look and perform. Finally, we care about what happens to the shoes when people are done with them. So we’ve focused on plant-based materials such as corn and cotton at the beginning, and compostability in the end.”

The first line of “Cotton + Corn” shoes is expected to make its way to retail later this year.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.