Subject to testing and results, the partnership will culminate in the launch of Vivobarefoot’s Primus Circular footwear line in autumn 2024.
“Our north star goal at Vivobarefoot is to develop performance footwear that is both durable and fully recyclable – and for us that means being able to use our recycled materials to make new footwear, rather than downcycling them.” says Charlotte Pumford, Vivobarefoot’s Head of Regeneration.
“This first of its kind collaboration moves us a step closer to that goal, giving us the ability to make product design and development decisions based on science, which we’ve never been in a position to do before.”
There are several existing footwear brands already using mechanical recycling to provide alternative end of use pathways for their products. This involves shredding and grinding the materials for reuse, but often these materials are turned into products that cannot be recycled in the future, ultimately committing them to landfill.
In contrast, Circ’s proprietary technology breaks down cotton and polyester from textiles into their fundamental molecules, allowing them to be rebuilt into high quality lyocell and polyester that are competitive with virgin materials and can be recycled multiple times.
“Shoes are a complicated and challenging problem for recyclers that, to solve, necessitates incorporating circularity into the design from the start. Transforming shoes will take time and effort. That is why having the right partners is so important,” says Luke Henning, Circ’s Chief Business Officer.
“When we met the team at Vivobarefoot, we immediately knew we had found a like-minded and committed team who lived sustainability and circularity. Their passion for the planet mirrors ours, making them a natural fit.”
“Together, we plan to push the limits of sustainable design and drive the necessary innovation for the next generation of circular footwear.”