The majority of companies in the sustainable footwear market find it difficult to invest in technology and expertise to create entirely sustainable footwear from the ground up. Sustainability is currently a term in the fashion world, and the trend is spreading to the footwear industry as well. With over 700 million metric tonnes of CO2 produced as a result of its manufacture and raw material extraction each year, footwear accounts for a fifth of the overall garment industry’s environmental effect. As social conscience becomes a more important platform for innovation and fuel for triggering step-change changes in the footwear industry, NPD research shows that 36% of people aged 18 to 34 have done shopping in the recent past to support brands’ social positions.
Sustainable Footwear Market – Key Trends and Drivers
In terms of the supply chain, sustainability makes perfect commercial sense, and when both firms and customers are involved along the value chain, a shared goal for more conscientious footwear manufacturing emerges. According to recent research, around 300 million pairs of footwear are discarded each year, with each pair taking 30-40 years to degrade in landfills. In 2019, the use of recycled materials in footwear increased by 70% year over year. Sustainable footwear is on the rise, thanks to the introduction of startups, dedicated initiatives by established businesses, and penetration into footwear by sustainability leaders.
Sustainable Footwear Market – Growth Restraints
The majority of companies in the sustainable footwear market find it difficult to invest in technology and expertise to create entirely sustainable footwear from the ground up. As a result, several firms are looking for new and innovative ways to participate in this trend. The footwear business has failed to fully use the promise of sustainability without losing customers due to problems such as complexity, size, and a lack of sufficient infrastructure for recycling or repair.
Sustainable Footwear Market – Competition Analysis
While established sustainable footwear producers have been focusing on sustainability from the beginning and have made it a cornerstone of their business, newcomers are catching up to the sustainable footwear trend.
- Adidas is working on producing and testing footwear made entirely of recyclable materials. Furthermore, by 2024, the business has publicly committed to using only environmentally friendly components in its products.
- Merino wool is used only by Giesswein in their footwear, which is sourced from small, independent farms where animal care is a top focus. It’s also implemented a zero-waste policy, requiring that all leftover wool scraps from the manufacturing process be recycled and mixed into new goods. Reebok has announced a running sneaker that incorporates plant-sourced, instead of petroleum-based materials
- Inside their heels, Reformation uses bio-based materials rather than plastic, and water-based adhesives rather than the hazardous glues used by most shoe manufacturers.
Adidas Group, Native Shoes, Tropicalfeel, Nike, Rothy’s, Veja, Reformation, Nisolo, New Balance, MATISSE FOOTWEAR, Amour Vert, and Threads 4 Thought are some of the companies involved in the sustainable footwear sector.
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