“Green shoe” largely based on eco-friendly materials
Striding toward sustainability
Seductive high heels, cute ballerinas or comfortable sports shoes – the shoes you wear can be a real statement. Thanks to Bayer MaterialScience, such statements are no longer limited to comfort or a stunning appearance. Now, the “green shoe” is set to give the wearer an opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to sustainable footwear.
In an integrated approach using sustainable materials Bayer MaterialScience has developed a "green shoe" concept.
Up to 90 percent of all components in the unique "Ecotrekker" concept work shoe developed by Bayer MaterialScience can be given eco-compatible properties. This is possible due to the company's range of sustainable materials and technologies, including polyurethane components based on natural resources and polycarbonate compounds made from renewable raw materials.
The outer soles and midsoles, for example, contain up to 70 percent renewable raw materials. This high proportion makes Bayer MaterialScience the leading supplier in the industry. The same applies to the polycarbonate compounds, which comprise up to 40 percent renewable raw materials.
It is not only the environment that benefits from this new approach but also the shoe manufacturer’s employees. The adhesives and coatings used are solvent-free and, compared to conventional production, the materials that make up the soles do not contain any heavy metals. This creates a safer working environment and facilitates disposal of the shoes once they are worn out.
The source of all these ideas is Bayer MaterialScience's Global Footwear Competence Center in Shanghai, China. Opened just a few years ago, it is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and develops all kinds of footwear, including sports and leisure shoes. The green shoe was designed here, in collaboration with a partner.
“Footwear manufacturers, end consumers and, not least, the environment can all benefit equally from the concept,” emphasizes Dr. John Zhang, head of the Competence Center. And with the experts in Shanghai already exploring innovative new materials and technologies, the company is continuing to make great strides toward sustainability.