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How Sanuk’s Latest SustainaSoles Drop Makes ‘Wearing Rubbish’ Look Good

Sanuk unveiled the second iteration of its new eco-conscious SustainaSole collection Thursday.

Comprised of 55 percent total recycled material by weight, the Deckers Brands’-owned footwear label said the new styles are available in the women’s slip-on Donna style, as well as the men’s slip-on Skuner style—a fresh addition to the SustainaSole collection. Both retail for $65.

“While this SustainaSole collection is our most eco-minded endeavor to date, this line also delivers a heavy dose of comfort and versatility,” Seth Pulford, director of marketing at Sanuk, said in a statement. “Wearing rubbish never looked or felt so good.”

By choosing to use undyed uppers—a new feature of this SustainaSole collection—Sanuk said it saved more than 200,000 total gallons of water, 115 gallons per Skuner and 76 per Donna. Additionally, the footwear brand claimed that skipping the dyeing process reduced greenhouse gas impact by nearly three pounds per Skuner and nearly two pounds per Donna.

Sanuk once again partnered with footwear foam experts Blumaka for its second SustainaSole launch. Rather than sending foam scrap to the landfill during manufacturing, Sanuk and Blumaka collected the scrap, ground it into smaller pieces and used it to create a cushy, durable filler for shoe soles. The bottoms consist of 35 percent recycled foam content by weight and 75 percent by volume.

The new SustainaSoles also feature textile uppers composed of 65 percent recycled cotton and 35 percent recycled PET; 100 percent recycled polyester upper lining, woven label and sockliner lining; and a sockliner that is 85 percent recycled PU foam and 15 percent virgin material.

Like many of Sanuk’s best-selling silhouettes, both of these new styles are machine washable, “so consumers can extend the life of their eco-minded footwear,” the brand said.

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“Sanuk is committed to seeking new materials and processes to create more sustainable products,” Erik Ecklund, general manager at Sanuk, said in a statement. “These shoes mark a big step forward in our journey—and in the footwear industry—toward sustainable innovation.”

Sanuk joins a long list of brands pursuing the sustainability-minded consumer by using recycled and eco-aware materials to create environmentally friendly footwear. Ocean Refresh launched a Kickstarter last month for a sneaker made largely from recycled ocean trash while Japanese footwear brand Ccilu, known for its supportive sneakers, sandals and boots, successfully funded its Kickstarter for a shoe made entirely with post-consumer plastic bottles. Cariuma brought its signature sustainable ingredient recipe to a new high-top sneaker, and Clae conjured up a shoe that swaps in vegan cactus leather for cow hides.