Fashion, Design & Beauty

UNLESS Collective and NFW Drop “World’s First Regenerative Sneaker” Made of 100% Plants & Minerals

UNLESS Collective, a regenerative fashion company, has partnered with plant-based material leader Natural Fiber Welding to create The UNLESS DEGENERATE, a biodegradable shoe that it describes as the world’s first regenerative sneaker.

“This is the first shoe of its kind made with entirely natural inputs that is truly circular”

The UNLESS DEGENERATE is 100% composed of plants and minerals and is said to “decompose at the end of its life to birth something entirely new”. The production of the shoe involves zero plastics or petrochemicals, says UNLESS.

Zero plastic waste streetwear

Based in the US Pacific Northwest, UNLESS makes plant-based streetwear designed to leave zero plastic waste, stating that it operates the world’s first regenerative fashion platform. The company ensures all of its products can be repaired, recycled or harmlessly decomposed at the end of their useful life.

Continued success for NFW

NFW is a leader in plant-based materials such as its well-known vegan leather Mirum, and has collaborated widely in the materials industry with partners including Brave Gentleman, for shoes; and for handbags and accessories with Veshin and Melina Bucher, to name a few. BMW i Ventures, the investment arm of BMW, invested in NFW in 2021, before revealing this year that all BMW and MINI cars will have fully vegan interiors from 2023.

According to UNLESS, the sneaker utilises NFW’s PLIANT™ for the outsole, TUNERA™ foam for the internal midsole, CLARUS® for the vamp and quarter, and MIRUM® for the eyelet and mudguard, along with low-impact textiles like linen, cotton embroidered lace tips, coconut husk, tencel and thread.

Degenerate shoe black
© Unless Collective

“The DEGENERATE is for anyone who doesn’t want to compromise their style to do what’s right for the planet.,” said Eric Liedtke, co-founder and CEO of UNLESS Collective. “And thanks to NFW’s unparalleled innovation in plant-based material technology, this sneaker will live a long, useful life … and when it’s no longer useful, it will be turned into valuable inputs for new soil products, allowing UNLESS to use the decomposition process to birth something entirely new.”

“NFW is excited to partner with UNLESS to create a breakthrough in lifestyle sneaker design, with the first-ever product to combine all of NFW’s biobased materials to create a 100% plant-and-mineral-based shoe,” said Luke Haverhals, founder and CEO of NFW.

“This is the first shoe of its kind made with entirely natural inputs that is truly circular, meaning it can be recycled or safely returned to nature to become nutrients for healthy soil or provide inputs for the next cycle of consumer products,” adds Haverhals.

The UNLESS DEGENERATE is available at

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