Swiss performance sports brand On is planning on using carbon emissions to create running shoes. The company has announced a new sustainable initiative called “CleanCloud” that will create foam for its shoes made out of CO2. It will work with LanzaTech and Borealis to scale up the technology.
The company will use LanzaTech’s carbon capture utilization and storage technology to take out carbon monoxide emitted from industrial sources like steel mills or emissions from landfill sites before they are released into the air.
After being captured, the emissions enter a patented fermentation process. The process makes the carbon gas ferment naturally thanks to specially selected bacteria, and as a result, transforms it into liquid ethanol. The process is similar to that of conventional alcohol production.
The ethanol is then dehydrated to produce ethylene, which is polymerized by Borealis to become EVA – ethylene-vinyl acetate. EVA is the versatile and lightweight material that On uses to create a performance foam for shoes.
“Innovation is at the heart of our brand, and after four years of intense research, we are very proud to announce this supply chain coalition with our world-class partners LanzaTech and Borealis,” said Caspar Coppetti, co-founder and executive co-chairman at On.
The opportunity to make products from CO2 is also an opportunity for the company to move away from petroleum-based resources. On also plans to expand the process to other shoe parts and products in the future.
“By converting pollution to products, we can see that someday everything in our daily lives will come from recycled carbon. We are excited to be on this journey with On and Borealis to bend the carbon curve, keep our skies blue, and create a sustainable future for all,” said Jennifer Holmgren, chief executive at LanzaTech.
The Swiss brand is looking into ways to optimize its operations processes and reduce emissions. Other fashion brands are also exploring the technology of using CO2 to make their products and thus taking part in the revolution of creating more sustainable living.