Edition 23, 2011
Bio-based raw materials are making shoe production more environmentally friendly

On green soles

  • Climate protection in a shoe
  • Material experts at work: Xiang Liu and Erika Zhu (from left) evaluate freshly poured soles for the EcoTrekker. Conventional raw materials have been replaced with renewable resources such as corn starch and sugar industry by-products in the making of this new green Bayer concept shoe.
Climate protection in a shoe
All in all, up to 90 percent of the components in the concept shoe have environmentally friendly characteristics. Among other things, these include solvent-free coatings and adhesives as well as materials made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). In addition, the polyurethane soles ­contain no heavy metals that remain after disposal.

Lightweight, robust and offering nearly unlimited design possibilities, plastics are indispensable in shoe production. Polymers permit a wide range of models, from comfortable running shoes all the way to robust safety boots for construction sites. The plastic polyurethane (PUR) ensures optimum soles. Until now, PUR has been based on petroleum. But that is changing.

A shoe made from renewable raw materials
Bio-based raw materials can make shoe production more sustainable. This is why Bayer researchers have developed the "EcoTrekker" concept shoe, consisting almost entirely of renewable raw materials. These replace petroleum chemistry-based components and improve the CO2balance of slippers, high heels and co. The bio-plastics can keep pace with conventional materials in every way.

To discover how the experts at Bayer are making shoes more environmentally friendly, read here: