Footwear manufacturers are catering to consumer demand for plant-based fashion by using biomass-derived materials in their products and submitting these products for biobased testing and certification. In an article co-written by Beta Analytic Marketing Manager Haley Gershon and Mike Andrews, Director of Advanced Development for Reebok Future, sportswear brand Reebok International Limited described its experience in using biobased content testing as a tool to validate raw materials successfully and how to effectively display the use of plant-derived material to increase product appeal.
Measuring the biobased content of raw materials can be done through ASTM D6866 testing, which is an international standard that uses Carbon-14 analysis to determine the biobased content of any solid, liquid or gaseous product.
On top of submitting the samples for biobased testing, manufacturers like Reebok take it one-step further by certifying products to receive biobased certifications or eco-labels. Applying for biobased certification programs enables qualified applicants to visibly display that a product is derived in full or in part from biomass sources. For example, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred Program includes a voluntary labeling initiative that aims to help consumers identify biobased products in the marketplace.
In 2014, Reebok kickstarted an initiative to develop a sustainable line of footwear. “I wanted to develop a shoe that when someone went into a store, the shoe would look the same as any other shoe, and have all of the same performance capabilities, aesthetics, and cost as any other shoe on the market. The only difference was that the shoe would also happen to be majority biobased,” Mr. Andrews says.
Once the materials were selected, and development of the shoes completed, Reebok enrolled in the USDA BioPreferred Program, using Beta Analytic’s laboratory to validate its Cotton & Corn as 75% biobased. Reebok was the first major footwear brand to join the BioPreferred Program.
For more details, please read Certified biobased footwear published in Bioplastics Magazine Issue 4/2020 pp. 40-41.
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Beta Analytic is not affiliated with ASTM or the USDA BioPreferred Program. The ISO 17025-accredited lab welcomes inquiries on ASTM D6866 biobased content testing. Please use this contact form to inquire on fees and turnaround time.