AUSTRALIAN wool has run into the sports shoe market with a Woolmark Company partnership with French eco-native sports and lifestyle brand Circle Sportswear with a biodegradable Merino wool runner.
The partners have unveiled running shoes made with Australian Merino wool that are made from 100 percent recyclable materials.
The upper part of the SuperNatural Runner is made from 65pc Australian Merino wool and the shoe is fitted with a 100pc Merino wool lining. The lightweight Merino wool and Tencel blend for the upper has been crafted for superb durability.
AWI said the running shoes harnesses the performance and eco benefits of Merino wool – a 100pc natural, renewable, biodegradable and recyclable fibre that does not contribute to microplastic pollution.
The SuperNatural Runner is one of the first fully eco-designed running shoes made in Europe, AWI said. AWI said the shoes are available in white, black and green for a pre-order price of €150 (about A$234) versus €200 (about A$313) at retail.
AWI chief executive officer John Roberts said the innovative running shoe showcases the comfort, breathability and sustainability of Australia Merino wool.
“We have pioneered the use of wool across the world, collaborating with leading brands on material development, functionality and aesthetics to constantly innovate.
“Innovations in both product and processing have driven new opportunities for wool in the footwear industry, with breakthrough developments from our partners resulting in the creation of technical running shoes such as the SuperNatural Runner by Circle Sportswear,” he said.
“Our in-house technical team worked collaboratively on the development of the shoe’s upper, harnessing the performance benefits of Merino wool – such as dryness, breathability and odour resistance – to push the innovative nature of the fibre for a high-performance running shoe.”
The runners midsole is created from castor oil by Arkema and has optimal flexibility, lightness, resilience and shape retention. Finally, the dynamic shape of the outsole, which facilitates the first stride, is made of Lactae Hevea, a natural vulcanised rubber.
“We have worked with biomechanical experts who have analysed more than 1 million strides to ensure the performance, lightness and comfort of this pair, which weighs less than 300 grams and has a drop of 6 mm,” Circle CEO Romain Trebuil said.
The runners production, development and assembly of the different parts were carried out in Italy, Normandy, Germany and Portugal, with each component carefully selected to facilitate the end of life of the product without generating post-consumer waste,” AWI said.
The upper part is fully biodegradable, while the sole can be fully recycled via mechanical processes, without losing its technical properties.
Source – AWI.