Bringing sustainability to par with fashion and comfort

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Melting glaciers, frequent famines, environmental migrations, record temperatures and devastating floods are just a few of the tangible effects of climate change clearly felt by people around the world. Consumers are increasingly integrating a minimal and sustainable lifestyle into their daily lives.

A recent IBM survey found that 78 percent of consumers in India are the most willing to change their shopping behavior to reduce a negative impact on the environment. Another report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), commissioned by WWF, found that the most dramatic growth in engagement and awareness has occurred in Asia, as evidenced by the growing volume of Google searches. relating to the loss of nature and biodiversity – with India in particular seeing an increase of 190 percent.

While fashion, comfort and performance remain strong considerations for shoe manufacturers, many industry players are making sustainability a strategic priority in response to changing consumer sentiment. Brands are increasingly committed to addressing the main ecological concerns in their messages. One fascinating observation is that consumers wholeheartedly support brands that have a positive impact on the environment.

The same IBM study pointed out that 85% of Indian respondents see eco-friendly companies as more attractive employers.

A growing trend seen in a survey conducted by Hotwire showed that 47% of internet users worldwide instantly changed their choice of brand when the one they used previously violated their personal values ​​- environmental reasons being the main concern.

According to a 2020 McKinsey survey, 66% of consumers (75% of millennials) see sustainability as a key factor when shopping for luxury in the footwear industry.

Driving sustainable partnerships is of paramount importance

Sustainability must be deeply rooted in the purpose of the organization, and for that, brands must realize the importance of taking a leadership role in defining and sharing environmental and social ambitions. While partners play a crucial role in promoting sustainability, distribution channels play an equally important role in society as they move products from manufacturer, retailer to consumer. It’s important to note that sustainability starts from ideation to last mile delivery. Many brands are now using green distribution methods in an attempt to reduce their emissions and carbon footprint.

According to recent statistics, India’s per capita carbon footprint is 60% lower than the global average.

With sustainability as a primary goal, BASF has developed integrated production systems for Elastopan and Elastollan for footwear applications that combine recyclable TPU and bio-based materials. The brand has adopted a biomass balancing approach that promotes the use of renewable resources and sustainable methods without compromising quality. For example, Elastollan requires lower injection temperatures, allowing shorter cycle times, greater cold flexibility and easy release from the mold in the manufacture of shoe shanks. This cuts processing time by up to 30 percent, reducing labor costs and creating significant energy savings for improved durability.

Here is how to use Elastopan in the footwear industry. One of BASF’s partners used Elastopan to simplify the production process of their sneaker soles while maintaining their level of comfort and performance. These insoles provide consumers with a better walking experience with cushioning that evenly distributes foot pressure from heel to toe. This allows better control of movements and improves the natural gait. The cold hardening process used in the development of these Elastopan soles is energy efficient, which means it requires low temperature. And the best part is that it is free from mold release agents.

Another example of how our partners combine durability and performance comes to us from Timberland, which uses Elastopan high rebound PU foam in the midsole and sockliner of its Reaxion safety shoe, providing all-round support and comfort. throughout the day.

Material innovations enable customers, partners and employees to achieve sustainable development goals. For example, one of our partners designed a shoe that uses recycled polyester and TPU, which can be recycled for fabric manufacturing. BASF has also developed a TPU with over 55% biocarbon content to achieve the highest durability scores for another partner in the development of their premium footwear.

India can earn $ 11 trillion in economic value over the next 50 years by limiting the rise in global temperatures and realizing its potential to “export decarbonization” to the world, new study from Deloitte Economics finds Institute. In the near future, sustainability will continue to be a key driver of exciting innovation in the footwear industry. Therefore, it is important that industry leaders combine their resources and expertise to find solutions that appeal to both current and potential / potential customers.


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