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Inside Teva’s Sustainability-First Collab with Cotopaxi

Teva is stepping up its sustainability efforts with a likeminded partner.

After committing to using only recycled inputs for its straps, the Deckers Brands-owned sport sandal label is launching a cobranded collection with outdoor gear brand Cotopaxi that leverages recycled and remnant materials.

Both Teva and Cotopaxi are focused on sustainable sourcing and design. “This collaboration celebrates a shared set of values first and foremost, which I think is what makes it so unique and different than the ‘hype first’ collabs that have become the norm,” said Anders Bergstrom, general manager of Teva.

Spanning a sandal and windbreaker, the limited-edition Teva x Cotopaxi capsule brings together the partners’ respective styles as well as their material expertise.

For the partnership, Teva’s signature Original Universal sandal has been remade in neon hues for men and women. The straps are fashioned out of a combination of Repreve recycled polyester webbing and upcycled Cotopaxi Del Dia ripstop material. The sandal features an EVA foam midsole, while the outsole is rubber.

Outdoor-oriented footwear brand Teva and Cotopaxi collaborated on a sporty sandal and windbreaker with recycled and upcycled materials.

There were a few challenges to working with materials that are outside the norm for Teva. Since the straps need to be durable, the partners used material from Cotopaxi’s bags that can “withstand a beating.”

“Any time you incorporate a new material into a product that’s created for a different end use, there will be questions to consider,” Bergstrom said. “Testing is needed to be done to ensure strength and durability, and a lot of math is involved in figuring out how much of the material is needed and available.”

Given the limited availability of remnant material, the collection was designed around the quantities of textiles that Cotopaxi had in stock.

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Rounding out the collection is a Teva x Cotopaxi Teca half-zip windbreaker made of repurposed polyester taffeta treated with a durable water repellant. Cotopaxi’s Teca line is centered on colorful vintage-inspired jackets made of upcycled materials. For the collaboration, the jackets feature a topographic map pattern and multiple pockets. The windbreaker is available in unisex sizes ranging from WXS to MXXL.

Outdoor-oriented footwear brand Teva and Cotopaxi collaborated on a sporty sandal and windbreaker with recycled and upcycled materials.

With technical features including waterproof materials, the collection is designed to balance form and function.

Teva and Cotopaxi are retailing the line on each of their e-commerce sites, as well as in select specialty stores. Prices range from $70 for the sandals to $90 for the windbreaker.

“The current pandemic has shown us that consumers are shopping with more purpose and are more mindful of the products they buy and their impact to our planet,” Bergstrom said. “In fact, COVID-19 has accelerated our commitment and urgency as well as the culture’s appetite for brands and products that think long term, but more importantly, act in a way that exhibits our commitment to a sustainable future.”

Along with being environmentally minded, the collaborators are also joining up for a social cause. Together, they are donating $40,000 to the Cotopaxi Foundation, which will provide a grant to the Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood, whose efforts including offering outdoor physical activity to underprivileged youth.

For Teva, sustainability is an ongoing journey that goes back more than a decade.

“As long as there is a world to be explored, we will seek solutions to protect it, and many of those solutions haven’t been discovered yet,” Bergstrom said. “I think brands like Teva and Cotopaxi have that special explorer’s gene that is necessary for uncovering new solutions beyond our current vision.”