What better way to put your best eco-friendly foot forward than with a stylish, comfortable pair of sustainable shoes? Rackle, a Boston-based footwear brand, is on a mission to create sustainable shoes, starting with the release of its hemp-based Alex line.
The unisex Alex sneakers come in three color options that include redwood, natural and blue. Weighing in at only 6 ounces, these shoes are better suited for leisure and errands than athletics, but they still offer a supportive, tri-density foam sole with EcoPure foam that aids in biodegradation and a hemp-based upper material. Each pair comes with two sets of laces — solid and checkered — each of which are made from a combination of hemp and 100% recycled materials. The shoes aim to meld style, versatility and sustainability.
“Rackle uses innovative plant-based materials, such as industrial hemp, in our products,” said Joe Napurano, senior designer for Rackle. “We also incorporated a special foam sole technology that promotes biodegradation. Once your shoes have completed their life of providing you style and comfort, we’ll help you find a home for them through our non-profit partners, or should you discard, they are designed to breakdown in just one year under active enclosed landfill conditions.”
Choosing hemp was a calculated decision. It grows faster than cotton yet requires a fraction of the water to grow. Plus, it is antimicrobial and is a durable and washable material. Hemp is a sustainable product that has become popular in the shoe industry because of its eco-friendliness and the ease with which it converts into a strong fiber.
According the company’s website, “The 100% sustainable hemp upper is made of high grade hemp and provides year-round comfort and support thanks to the plant’s natural benefits: cool in the summer and warm in the winter; anti-microbial; lightweight; water-resistant; UV-resistant; and extremely durable.”
Images via Rackle