Asics heralds launch of market's lowest-carbon-footprint sneakers
The future Gel-Lyte III CM 1.95 sneakers by Asics, which will be commercialised in autumn 2023, could be no other colour but white. For the Japanese sportswear brand, launching this model, named after one of its most famous pair of sneakers, is a strong statement of intent in terms of sustainable innovation. According to Asics in fact, the new model will have the market's lowest carbon footprint, emitting only 1.95 kg of CO2 per pair over its entire life cycle.
On average, according to various studies, a pair of sneakers produced in Asia and sold in Europe has a carbon footprint of approximately 14 kg. Asics would therefore be able to take a major step forward in an environmentally friendly direction with this model. Hence the choice of making the new shoes, which are expected to be emissions-free by 2050, available in a lily-white colourway.
Asics stated that this model is the result of a combination of several R&D strands, including work undertaken in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010, on how to measure a product’s CO2 impact over its full life cycle.
“Following that previous study, published in 2012, Asics has developed innovative ways to reduce the impact of manufacturing, to use materials more efficiently, and to substitute new, lower impact materials,” said the MIT scientists who have worked on this project. “Furthermore, we are impressed by the ways in which Asics has refined and extended the methods for assessing product CO2 emissions. Asics has extended, in both breadth and depth, data collection pertaining to CO2 assessment. We sincerely hope that this study and its findings will encourage other firms to begin the journey to understand the impacts of their products and, therefore, to move towards a more sustainable footwear industry,” they added.
To achieve this goal, Asics has had to rethink the shoes' assembly and materials composition.
“Among the sneaker’s series of innovations is a new carbon negative foam, which features as part of its midsole and sockliner,” Asics stated in the press release. The foam, called Septon Bio and produced by the Kuraray company, is made from a fusion of bio-sourced polymers derived in part from sugar cane.
“Other key design details in the shoe include the use of recycled and solution-dyed polyester in the main upper material and the sockliner mesh. The shoe features a new structure utilizing tape that enables less material usage, and 100% renewable energy is used throughout the manufacturing phase,” added Asics.
The brand intends to use only recycled polyester by 2030, and is therefore developing a much more sustainable product range.
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