Reebok and PETA have announced that Reebok’s ‘plant-based’ shoe, launched last year, is now 100% vegan. Reebok, a subsidiary company of sports giant Adidas was founded in the UK, where veganism has exploded. Millennials in the UK and beyond are driving the retail market with their searches for animal-free alternatives, and this includes sports shoes.
Vegconomist reported in August 2018 that Reebok had launched the collection ‘Cotton + Corn’, and that it was widely assumed online that this meant the shoe was vegan, however, this was compromised by the leather pieces on the tongue and heel. Following pressure from PETA, this has now been rectified.
The sportswear company’s new Cotton + Corn initiative features footwear with soles made from corn and uppers made from organic cotton. The trainers are sustainable, compostable and free of leather and polyurethane. The new line has earned PETA’s Innovator for Animals Award. However, PETA continues to urge Reebok to stop using leather altogether, given the negative environmental impact and cruelty to animals inherent in the leather industry.
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk stated on the PETA website: “Reebok is at the forefront of a vegan revolution using high-tech materials that are kind to the Earth and all its inhabitants. PETA is calling on retailers around the world to follow Reebok’s example and develop high-performance fabrics that spare cows terrible deaths and spare the environment toxic tanneries.”
Reebok is in good company with its Innovator for Animals Award, fellow winners include: Piñatex, which creates durable vegan leather from pineapples, and The North Face, which won for both its silk-free Moon Parka and its down-free ThermoBall technology.