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Reformation, New Balance Join Forces to Create Sustainable Sneakers

Can two brands be more sustainable than one? Reformation and New Balance are counting on it.

The It-girl brand and the sportswear maker have tag-teamed to launch a line of sneakers made with eco-friendly materials. The collaboration marks Reformation’s first foray into the sneaker category and New Balance’s inaugural sustainability-led collection.

The collection, which opens its wait list Thursday and goes on sale Oct. 10, offers lower-impact spins on classic New Balance styles, including the 574 and X90 sneakers, by swapping out virgin polyester linings, laces and labels for post-consumer recycled versions. The uppers consist of chrome-free suede—which is less toxic to leather workers and the environment—from a tannery that holds gold-level Leather Working Group status for its sustainable best practices.

Shoe inserts are derived from a combination of ethylene-vinyl acetate—a.k.a. EVA—and Bloom’s algae-based foam. The latter, which has appeared in footwear by Aldo, H&M and Vivobarefoot, not only reduces the amount of fossil fuels used in conventional shoe manufacturing but it also returns clean agua to the freshwater habitats from which the green stuff is dredged.

New Balance and Reformation collaborated on a collection that re-imagines the footwear brand's classic sneakers with sustainable materials.
New Balance and Reformation collaborated on a collection that re-imagines the footwear brand’s classic sneakers with sustainable materials. Courtesy

But why sneakers?

“At Reformation, our mission is to bring sustainable fashion to everyone. So we continue to innovate across categories and partner with different brands to offer consumers more sustainable product choices,” Yael Aflalo, founder and CEO of Reformation, said in a statement to Sourcing Journal. “ We saw a huge opportunity with New Balance to marry our sustainability knowledge with their expertise in sneaker design to reinvent their classic sneaker styles using sustainable materials. We’re really proud of our first collection of sneakers and thrilled to see such an iconic brand prioritize sustainable innovation.”

The Reformation x New Balance collection, which ranges in price from $80 to $110, includes three styles in five exclusive colorways. They are available to purchase at Reformation’s digital and brick-and-mortar storefronts and online at www.newbalance.com.