Plant-Based Shoes with Zero New Plastic Are a Reality


The typical pair of shoes generates about 30 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Most companies have the goal of creating brand-new pairs by making them as cheaply as possible. A brand named Cariuma wants to change that perspective.

By switching the materials and simplifying the design so that 360 processing steps are no longer necessary, this Brazil-based company can dramatically reduce the emissions footprint of each shoe. Then the organization offsets what remains to make it an authentic carbon-neutral purchase.

Ibi Is the Name of These New Shoes

You can pick up a pair of Cariuma’s new shoes for about $100 at a participating retailer. Each pair offers a knitted upper that comes from a blend of recycled plastics and bamboo. Instead of turning the plant-based materials into a fiber by dissolving the material with toxic chemicals, the company heats it so that it becomes powdered charcoal.

Then Cariuma mixes the charcoal powder with the recycled plastic to make yarn. Since bamboo consumes significant levels of carbon dioxide as it grows and harvesting doesn’t kill the plant, the shoes become more sustainable.

Instead of using petrochemicals to make the foam in the shoe, Cariuma uses sugarcane. It is such an effective process that this component is carbon negative. Then the insoles use cork to complete the construction.

Almost 70% of the emissions from a shoe come from the manufacturing process. Sales began on October 22, 2019, and you can purchase a pair online directly from the company’s website.





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