The shoe is the brand’s first product with a patent-pending, dandelion-based outsole. The product launch also coincides with Cole Haan’s sustainability initiative, the new Change Forward initiative for Sustainable Innovation and Natural Design. The FlowerFoam product is made with a minimum of 25% natural dandelion rubber. The product is a lightweight outsole that helps absorb impact while delivering cushioning and energy return.
The new initiative is part of the company’s commitment over the past several years to reduce waste throughout its supply chain, such as introducing recycled materials in packaging and shipping cartons. All products labeled “Sustainable” by the company will include a minimum of 25% naturally derived or recycled content by weight.
“We believe we all need to do our part to protect our planet. Cole Haan has always been and is, now, publicly committed to do our part in contributing to positive change going forward,” Jack Boys, CEO of Cole Haan, said in a statement. “This is how we work for what we believe in. And, more than ever, saving Mother Earth requires a sense of urgency. While we know our sustainable Generation ZERØGRAND II product delivers the all-day performance our customers have come to expect, we also urge everyone to choose sustainable products in all aspects of their lives, regardless of the brand or retailer.”
In addition to the dandelion-derived material, the rest of the shoe includes recycled materials. The shoe’s upper includes vegan microfiber suede made with 21% recycled content and reconstituted felt fabric made with 85% recycled plastic bottles (rPET). The laces are made from 100% rPET. The Ortholite Hybrid footbed is made with 5% recycled rubber, 15% production waste foam and a fabric topsheet made from 100% rPET, Cole Haan said in its press release.
Generation ZERØGRAND II and more sustainable offerings are available on ColeHaan.com and in select U.S. and International stores as of Feb. 10. The men’s and women’s sizes retail for $130.