Austrian fibre producer Lenzing Group announced plans today to enter the footwear segment in India, introducing Tencel for Footwear, its unique and globally acclaimed concept of the botanic shoe, in the country for sustainable options in footwear. The launch comes at a time when the Indian government has committed to ending the use of single-use plastic in the coming years.
“With 24.2 billion pairs of shoes created globally in 2018 alone, there’s an urgent need for sustainable alternatives with performance features to the current ones available in the market,” said the company in a press release today.
Globally, Lenzing has partnered with brands such as UGG, Converse, Native, Gant, TOMS, Allbirds, Alceste, Veja, H&M, Soludos and Leguano for sustainable footwear by substituting multiple components of the shoe with Tencel fibers.
“Consumers today are extremely conscious. They are aware of the implications their purchases will have on the environment and are open to making an informed decision. Today's youth are looking at alternatives, whether it’s for apparel, accessories or even beauty. Keeping this trend in mind and with the government of India’s push for green solutions, we believe it’s an extremely important time for us to be in India and partner with footwear brands that are looking for sustainable solutions with strong performance features,” said Pranesh Shridharan, head of business innovation, AMEA - Lenzing, commenting on the launch.
In particular, the raw material - wood - stems from responsibly managed forests and undergoes an environmentally friendly production process. The end product aims for compostability at the end of its life cycle. In terms of comfort, the fibres aid breathability and are smooth to the skin. In addition, moisture management helps reduce bacteria growth.
“The possibilities range from the textile fiber in the upper material, as a filling material or a nonwovens fleece in the inner sole through to Lenzing Lyocell powder in the outer sole or the padding. Likewise, shoelaces and the supporting material for zippers are possible. The more shoe components are made of Tencel Lyocell/modal fibers, the closer we are getting to the vision of a biodegradable shoe,“ added Shridharan.