Earlier this year, comfortable, casual footwear brand Crocs committed to becoming a net zero company by 2030. The brand’s first major milestone after the announcement is the recent introduction of a new bio-based version of its signature Croslite material.
All Crocs, especially the classics Clogs many have come to love as of late, feature the closed cell resin technology. This compound allows for the soft, comfortable, and lightweight feeling as well as the non-marking and odor-resistant qualities that Crocs footwear is known for. Although the brand claims its shoes already have a low carbon footprint at 3.94 kg CO2 eq. per pair of Classic Clogs, the update to Croslite into a bio-based material is said to help the brand reach its target of cutting its carbon footprint by 50% per pair of Crocs shoes by 2030.
The Colorado-based brand isn’t innovating alone. The new material is created in partnership with global materials science company Dow and utilizes its new ECOLIBRIUM technology, turning waste, byproducts, and renewable bio-based feedstocks into a shoe that doesn’t compromise Crocs’ quality and comfort. “ECOLIBRIUM [is] a technology enabling more sustainable polymers for footwear. This approach could also open up possibilities for recyclability of footwear at the end of life avoiding incineration or landfill,” says Dow in describing ECOLIBRIUM on its Sustainable Footwear Collaboration and Innovation page.
Crocs is the first footwear brand to integrate the technology within its products. The new material will be used in all shoes that incorporate Croslite starting in early 2022. The brand was adamant on modifying its existing line of footwear as opposed to introducing a product or collection under a sustainability umbrella. It’s a move that shows commitment to material innovation rather than displaying small instances of sustainable design and its possibilities.
“At Crocs, we recognize the important role companies play in creating a world where everyone is comfortable in their own shoes,” said Crocs CEO Andrew Rees in a press release. “By starting with our iconic product, backed by a first-to-market solution, we’re taking a bold step forward to create lower carbon footprint footwear while making it inherently simple for our partners and consumers to join us on our journey to net zero.”
The brand has experienced a rapid rise in popularity thanks to a strategic shift in how the brand positions itself and receiving “fashion’s seal of approval” through key collaborations with streetwear and luxury brands as well as co-signs from celebrities across social media.
“We are incredibly proud of the track record of growth and shareholder value creation since we first embarked on the turnaround of the Crocs brand in 2014,” said Rees in a press release on Crocs’ long-term strategy for sustainable, profitable growth. “Looking forward, we expect the Crocs brand to grow to over $5 billion in sales by 2026. We are confident in our ability to deliver this growth while maintaining industry-leading profitability, creating significant shareholder value, and having a positive impact on our planet and our communities.”
Crocs’ Earth-friendly commitments are vital as the brand lays out plans for its growth over the next five years. It extends beyond the major update to Croslite. Crocs also announced that it will become a fully vegan brand by the end of this year. Additionally, it is exploring sustainable alternatives for packaging as well as establishing donation, recycling, and re-commerce programs. The brand also plans on transitioning to renewable energy sources across its offices and distribution centers, and will purchase carbon credits in order to offset any remaining emissions.
Discover the new bio-based Croslite material in Crocs shoes starting early next year.
In other footwear news, Nike introduced its most sustainable performance shoe yet, with the Air Zoom Alphafly Next Nature.