Innovation That Matters

The carbon-negative EVA replacement is lightweight, flexible and recyclable | Photo source TOMS Earthwise Collection

Sugarcane-based bioplastic replaces rubber shoe soles

Fashion & Beauty

The carbon-negative EVA replacement is lightweight, flexible and recyclable

Spotted: Socially conscious shoe company TOMS recently introduced a new line made from sustainable materials. Named Earthwise, the collection features plant-based dyes, recycled plastic uppers and crucially, the I’m green™ EVA created by Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem. The I’m green™ EVA rubber outsoles are a bio-based alternative to the traditional petroleum-based ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), which does not biodegrade and is difficult to recycle, and is why many shoes end up in landfill.

Sugarcane-based EVA, on the other hand, is recyclable, reusable and compostable and is considered carbon-negative. While growing, sugarcane absorbs vast quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while releasing oxygen. When pressed, liquid from the sugarcane is turned into bioethanol that becomes the basis for a range of bioplastics.

The I’m green™ EVA is as lightweight, flexible and shock absorbent as the EVA currently used in a wide range of industries. Braskem’s plans for expanding the use of the sustainable version include moving into the automotive and other transport industries.

The growth in the development of bioplastics is rapid and substantial, with innovations often incorporating waste products. Two such projects that Springwise recently spotted are takeaway containers made from cocoa bean shells and a plastic wrap for food made from fish waste.

Written by: Keely Khoury

Explore more: Fashion & Beauty Innovations | Sustainability Innovations



Download PDF