IPATH: A Lifestyle Brand with Skate DNA

At the ASR Trade Show last weekend, I sat down with IPATH Public Relations guru Bill Byrne to talk about the greening of skate shoes and what is Green DNA. IPATH, which means "follow your path" was founded in principles of high performance and low environmental impact.

IPATH shoes, which are currently only made for men (though don't be shy ladies because plenty of these shoes would look fab on you too), are made of eco-materials like hemp and organic cotton. The leather is tanned without chromium. The insoles of the shoes are special and include coconut and natural fibers for odor absorption. The colors and styles for this spring reflect this variety of interests in the different colors and patterns soon to be available in a store near you. According to Apparels Director, Paul Underwood, "Part of IPATH's design is to utilize materials such as ramie, hemp, bamboo and linen fabrics to curb the use of harmful chemicals, finite water supplies, and work within farmers needs for their growing times and field rotation schedules."One new update for this spring is the popular Cat shoe (see image). A few minor modifications like, new, environmentally friendly hemp upper and vulcanized synthetic rubber outsole can be expected. The shoe will still include the popular stash pocket under the tongue.

Since IPATH opened in 1999, "it has been a goal of IPATH to contribute to the ongoing effort to help repair the planet from excessive industrial activities" says Underwood and prides itself on its continued use and improvement of its products while not compromising the environment. Its shoes are popular among the skater crowd, the rasta crowd, the hippy crowd, and even look good in the office. While not every shoe is environmental, there are environmental options for every model. The concept for the environmental skate shoe was initially created by Matt Field, a professional skateboarder himself, who wanted a high performance shoe that was also fashionable, simple and that also left less of an impact on the environment.

IPATH, a leader in sustainable footwear, particularly skate shoes, is now expanding its repertoire with even more eco-products. The clothing line, which includes both items for skaters but also sweaters and vests made from eco-materials (ramie and hemp) that are clean enough to wear in an office or to a more formal engagement than the beach. Their denim jeans have a very soft, relaxed feel that will get even better after a few washes. There are plans in the works to add a womens clothing and shoe line, so stay tuned.

Recently IPATH was purchased by Timberland, which has given IPATH new connections and resources to further their green skate shoe plans. IPATH also plans to influence the product stream by, for example, figuring a way to not ship each individual shoe in its own box. The goal is to find a system for stores to organize shoes so that they don't need shoes to come in individual, stackable boxes. Any ideas?

For more information, check them out online at IPATH.com http://www.ipath.com/ or in your local sportswear store.

Tags: California | Footwear | Hemp | San Diego | Shoes

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