Jul 30, 2023
by Sofia de la Cruz
Are Saucony’s ECONYL-Powered “Midnight Swim” Sneakers Pushing Forward Or Treading Water?
by Sofia de la Cruz
Jul 30, 2023

Saucony, the American athletic footwear and apparel brand, has firmly established itself as the go-to trainer for runners who value comfort and durability. Embodying the bedrock philosophy of “Run for Good,” the brand has recently embraced a new motivation – improving its sustainability strategy.

With a rich heritage dating back 125 years, Saucony shares a deep connection to water, evident in its logo inspired by the Saucony Creek in Kutztown, PA — the place of its origin — where water flowed around three distinct boulders, now immortalized by the iconic design.

Aligned with its commitment to eco-friendly practices, Saucony recently introduced the Fall/Winter 2023 collection, dubbed “Midnight Swimming Pack.” Beyond pushing the boundaries of product design, the collection strives to contribute to cleaner, greener oceans.

Drawing inspiration from the enigmatic moments of the night, the Midnight Swimming Pack combines creativity, innovation and style while incorporating alternative materials and regenerated nylon, known as ECONYL®. Notably, the brand has taken conscious steps to minimize its environmental impact, reducing water consumption during the tanning process of the leather overlays by 60%. Additionally, the collection adopts a circular approach, utilizing 100% recycled ECONYL® nylon.

Specifically, the journey of ECONYL® nylon begins with rescuing waste materials such as fishing nets, fabric scraps, carpet flooring and industrial plastic. These materials undergo sorting and cleaning before a radical regeneration and purification process, transforming the nylon waste back to its original purity, indistinguishable from fossil-based nylon.

Continuing its legacy of combining cutting-edge technologies, such as PWRRUN™ PB, PWRRUN+™ and SPEEDROLL™, with stylish and culture-centric designs, Saucony offers the Midnight Swimming Pack in “Yellow/Green,” “Purple/Black” and “Green/Black” colorways.

Overall, Saucony’s journey towards a sustainable future has taken a promising start, and the Midnight Swimming Pack range exemplifies the American label’s strong commitment to greener innovations. However, there is an issue here: something that upsets the balance of a supposedly sustainability-focused release. While it does contribute to helping ocean life and to the health of the oceans themselves – and, of course, we applaud the use of recycled and circular materials – the incorporation of rich virgin leather overlays raises concerns.

Opting for a vegan leather alternative – or, simply, a leather and plastic-free material for these parts (of which there are increasingly more options by the day) – could have made this silhouette a perfect, fun and cruelty-free footwear staple. As it stands, the sneaker treads a fine line between eco-consciousness and eco-lack. We sincerely hope to see Saucony dive deeper into its sustainability operations and give this commendable initiative the environmentally conscious treatment it truly deserves.

Until then, the Midnight Swimming Pack is now available for purchase on Saucony’s official website and at select boutiques, offering prices ranging from $120 to $150 USD.

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