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Vivobarefoot announces shoes made of plants

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Clarks family-founded British start-up Vivobarefoot has announced it will be adding plant-shoes to its sustainable footwear offering, as part of its strategy to become 90 percent sustainable by 2020.

Vivobarefoot’s vision is to make the most sustainable shoes on the planet, and the founders believe that barefoot shoe-making equates to sustainability, and its adding the ‘Primus Bio' range next year, which uses a plant-based polymer, a natural bi-product of the field corn food industry, in the sole and upper of the shoes.

The plant-shoes will mark the brand’s lightest and most environmentally sound shoe to date, and follows its previous shoes made of repurposed algae and its Eco range made of 50 percent recycled plastic, with 17 recycled bottles per pair.

“Put simply, we believe that the perfect shoe is perfect for feet. With minimal environmental impact on the planet,” said Asher Clark, design director at Vivobarefoot in a press release. “Sustainability is journey and the Primus Bio champions the future of sustainable materials which I believe will be largely bio based. This is an exciting step in the right direction away from the single use petroleum based alternatives commonly used in sports shoes.”

Primus Bio range will be available from 2019 and features an entire sole of the plant-based polymer, Susterra Propanediol, and 70 percent of the upper. As well as being sustainable, the plant-based material also gives greater flexibility in the cold and is incredibly resilient to abrasions and general wear, said the brand.

In addition, Susterra Propanediol uses 42 percent less energy than the standard petroleum based materials used by the global footwear industry, and 56 percent less greenhouse gas emissions.

London-based Vivobarefoot was launched in 2012 by two cousins from a long line of cobblers, Galahad and Asher Clark, with a mission statement to change the footwear industry based on one simple insight — “shoes should let your feet do their natural thing”. It’s range is produced sustainably using recycled, locally sourced materials in independently monitored factories.

Image: courtesy of Vivobarefoot