Bioplastics made by Braskem SA are being used in a line of recyclable shoes for kids.
Braskem's I'm Green-brand bio-based EVA polymer can be found in The Robbie, a new line of kids' footwear from Native Shoes, a footwear maker based in Vancouver, British Columbia. In a news release, officials said The Robbie is aimed at "the kids of today who are growing up as the most educated, connected, socially aware and environmentally minded generation in history."
In the release, Braskem executive Renato Yoshino said that Native Shoes "is helping lead the movement to meet the growing consumer demand for more environmentally conscious footwear and taking fashion to the next level of sustainability." Yoshino is business director for olefins and polyolefins in South America for São Paulo-based Braskem.
The new shoes use Sugarlite, a proprietary sugarcane-based EVA-blend material, in their upper and midsole materials. Native Shoes CEO Kyle Housman added that "we couldn't think of a better material to use for this shoe than Sugarlite — every bit as lightweight and comfortable as traditional EVA but made with sugarcane for a lighter greenhouse gas impact."
The shoes also are fully recyclable via the Native Shoes Remix Project. Kids can mail their old shoes, including the Robbie, back to Native Shoes for free, where they will be given a second life as playgrounds for local communities in Vancouver.
Braskem's I'm Green bio-based EVA is sustainably produced from sugarcane, a renewable source that contributes to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by CO2 capture.
Braskem, with U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia, ranks as Brazil's largest petrochemicals firm and as one of North America's largest producers of polypropylene resin. The firm also is a major supplier of bioplastics. Braskem employs 8,000 and posted sales of more than $14 billion in 2020.