Reading Time: < 1 minute The Corn + Cotton Collection (Photo: Reebok)
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Footwear giant Reebok has turned its sneakers made from corn and cotton vegan, by replacing the use of leather with cruelty-free material.

The previous version of the ‘eco-friendly’ shoe featured a leather patch on the heel and on the tongue, which attracted the attention of animal-rights organization PETA, who urged Reebok to veganize the sneakers.

The brand’s new vegan shoe is the first ever 75 percent USDA certified bio-based shoe, made with a 100 percent cotton upper and a biobased sole derived from corn.

‘From dust to dust’

“We like to say, we are ‘growing shoes’ here at Reebok,” said Head of Reebok Future, Bill McInnis.

“Ultimately, our goal is to create a broad selection of bio-based footwear that can be composted after use. We’ll then use that compost as part of the soil to grow the materials for the next range of shoes. We want to take the entire cycle into account; to go from dust to dust.”

‘Toxic tanneries’

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said: “Reebok is at the forefront of a vegan revolution using high-tech materials that are kind to the Earth and all its inhabitants.

“PETA is calling on retailers around the world to follow Reebok’s example and develop high-performance fabrics that spare cows terrible deaths and spare the environment toxic tanneries.”

The animal-rights organization also gave Reebok an award dubbed Innovator For Animals, stating the brand’s vegan sneakers: “Perfectly demonstrates the superiority of cruelty-free, plant-based technology over leather and other animal-derived materials and provides trendsetters and activewear enthusiasts alike with sneakers that are durable, light, zero-waste, and, best of all, animal friendly.”

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.