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The growth in sustainable safety footwear


While performance, comfort and value are the main factors dictating the selection of safety footwear, sustainability is becoming an increasingly important consideration

At A+A 2021 in Düsseldorf, uvex presented a new sustainable product system – the planet series, showcasing the uvex 1 G2 planet safety shoe.

The topic of sustainability is part of our DNA. Our pledge to protect society and the environment using the group-wide protecting planet concept is derived from our ‘protecting people’ mission. This is why uvex holistically checks, evaluates and optimises all steps in the value creation chain, to ensure the best and most sustainable uvex product possible,” said uvex.

From the upper to the sole, the new uvex 1 G2 planet offers both sustainability and performance. In accordance with standard DIN EN ISO 14021:2016, the uvex 1 G2 planet consists of 25% recycled materials without compromising its protective properties and comfort, compared to the well-known uvex 1 G2 models. Many of the shoe's components, such as the upper and insole, are made from 100% recycled materials. In addition, uvex already uses some of its own PU waste for the production of the outsole: up to 10% has been used in the uvex x-tended grip planet. 

Another leader in sustainability in the footwear industry is Timberland, which has recently become a proponent of regenerative farming. Bert Spiller, VP of product creation at Timberland Pro, said, “In fall 2021, we launched the Gridworks EK+ work boot made with leather sourced from farms using regenerative farming practices. We’re following this up with the fall 2022 launch of the men’s 6-inch Nashoba EK+ work boot.” Both styles feature Timberland’s ReBotl linings, made with at least 50% recycled polyester, as well as key safety features.

 “Our circularity platform refurbishes worn products for resale, or, if they’re beyond repair, we take them apart and reuse or recycle the pieces into new materials,” added Spiller.

Emma Safety Footwear claims to have introduced the world’s first ever ‘circular’ safety shoes. Combining safety with sustainability, the shoes can be entirely recycled and all materials are 100% reused, for example in furniture, as building material and naturally in new safety shoes. The shoes are made from partially recycled materials. The laces are 99% made from recycled PET bottles and certified by the Global Recycle Standard. The insole is made of 80% recycled foam. The Frontier soles contain 5% recycled TPU, and the TPU heel pieces contain an average of 30% recycled TPU. 

Hear more on sustainable footwear in Health, Safety and Security Review Middle East 2 here.