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Why We Root for Natural Fiber Welding, Inc.

Natural Fiber Welding is commercializing innovative technologies to create high-performing textiles from natural and plant based inputs.

Source: Technology – Natural Fiber Welding, Inc.

Sneaker Impact exists because we understand the problem with sneakers sitting in landfills. There are companies being created which have the potential to limit the need for the work done by us and other companies. As more sustainable options become available, we hope that sneakers finally have a more circular path. Until that time, Sneaker Impact will do the dirty work. In the process of helping the industry we discover new projects and companies that will eventually improve the method of make for sneaker brands. One of those companies is Natural Fiber Welding a company that makes 100% recyclable, all natural materials. The material they’ve created named MIRUM® has been used for the first time in a sneaker from the brand Camper:

The Runner K21 featuring Mirum from Camper

This sneaker is the first 100% all natural upper. The upper of this shoe can be completely recycled or returned to the Earth with zero damage to the environment. This is a sneaker that we celebrate because it means that some sneaker companies are moving away from generating sneakers that weren’t designed thoughtfully. Why would companies create rushed and unoriginal kicks?

Brands willingly creating sneakers simply to fill a void in their SKUs. What does this mean? Brands have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). This can cause a company to create a sneaker that doesn’t even fit into their product line-up. When a brand does this they create shoes that aren’t going to sell to the demographic that supports them. Rushed sneakers have a process which happens once a sneaker that was created in hopes of catching missed revenue is made is:
  1. Shoe is designed with very little enthusiasm.
  2. Designers and the company aren’t excited about the release, but it fills a need. The energy is low around the model.
  3. The shoe ships to retailers who receive the shipment without marketing and merchandising materials.
  4. The shoe is placed on sneaker walls and collects dust.
  5. The store places the sneaker on promo. The shoe still collects dust.
  6. The model is sent to an outlet or RTV’d to the brand.
  7. The model then sits in factory stores on deep discount damaging the perception of the brand.
  8. The sneakers enter the remaindered funnel.
  9. The shoes are disposed of…

This process is repeated in all sneaker companies. It’s an issue we want to see stopped, but until then we will most certainly continue to celebrate companies like Natural Fiber Welding. Thoughtful innovation creates a better environment for the world.

Have a pair of sneakers sitting in your closet. Take a moment to visit our recycle page and extend the life of those kicks.