The running shoe is often referred to as one of the most controversial items in one’s wardrobe – and, with a typical pair racking up an impressive 30 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions during their manufacturing process, it’s easy to understand why. All of this, then, does beg the question, is there a way we can work out and take care of ourselves without sending the Earth straight to the finish line?
Circle Sportswear, known for its commitment to creating quality and circular technical clothing, might have the answer. The French eco-native brand confirms its industry’s position as an eco-conscious innovator with the release of the first running shoe entirely made in Europe from bio-sourced, biodegradable and 100% recyclable materials.
Dubbed SuperNatural Runner, the sneaker strives to redefine the codes of running and performance while keeping the environment and social impact at the core. The efficient and respectful shoe had all components carefully selected to facilitate its end of life without generating waste.
Designed for all runner levels, the SuperNatural Runner sees an upper part constructed from 65% merino wool certified by The Woolmark Company. This natural, renewable, sustainable material does not release microplastics and delivers thermoregulation, moisture management and breathability properties. The remaining 35% is made from wood fiber Tencel® by Lenzing, granting lightness and durability.
The sneaker’s midsole is crafted from castor oil from Arkema, enabling optimal flexibility, lightness, resilience and shape memory for the wearer. Meanwhile, the outsole’s dynamic silhouette is composed of Lactae Hevea, a natural, biodegradable rubber that facilitates the first stride.
Notably, the production, development and assembly of all SuperNatural Runner’s parts were carried out in Italy, Normandy, Germany and Portugal, ensuring a low carbon footprint and reduced CO2 emissions. In particular, the upper part is fully biodegradable and regenerative, while the sole can be fully recycled without losing its technical properties. These innovative features ensure that the pair has 75% less CO2 impact than traditional running shoes, a milestone for the industry.
Romain Trebuil, Circle Sportswear’s CEO and Co-founder, commented: “The SuperNatural Runner project started with the mission of beginning a new era of sustainable running shoes. Made for disassembly and crafted from bio-based, recyclable in Europe, the Supernatural Runner merges the best of ecological and performance worlds to transform the next impact of all runners into a better one.”
John Roberts, The Woolmark Company’s Managing Director, added: “We have pioneered the use of wool across the world, collaborating with leading brands on material development, functionality and aesthetics to innovate. Circle Sportswear strives to do things differently; they are innovating how we wear wool by bringing the fiber’s innate performance and eco-credentials to the sports industry.”
In an effort to limit overproduction and mindfully manage stocks, the Circle’s SuperNatural Runner is only available to pre-order from their online store. Priced at €150 (approximately $160 USD), the pair arrives in white, black and green colorways.
Learn more about the label’s environmental impact and commitment over on its website, and for more eco-friendly sneaker news check out BOTTER and Reebok’s latest 3D-printed collaboration.