On August 1, at REI stores and at the REI web site, trail runners and hikers from newcomer Environmentally Neutral Design (END) go on sale for between $60 and $90 a pair.
Recycled content sneakers
END, a start-up in Nike's hometown of Portland and with a former Nike employee as founder, is aiming to sell a sneaker that has sustainable attributes - no "air" insets or other fancy extras. Instead, END's Stumptown sneakers have very earthy tones and a streamlined design with 15 to up to 30 % recycled rubber in the soles. END and other experts say more recycled content in the soles doesn't work for high performance running and hiking shoes.
If that number failed to impress you, it's probably better than the percentage of recycled material Nike sprinkles into soles and basketballs, recovered from the oodles of sneakers returned each year to Nike's Beaverton shoe recycling facility.
END has also endeavored to strip away any foam reinforcements and plastic do-dads that are inessential and generate waste on the factory floor (it is made in China, unfortunately). Laces and upper webbing are made from recycled plastic bottles; the box is 100 percent post consumer recycled paper (why do we even need shoeboxes anymore?) Via ::Oregonian and Portland Tribune
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