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Material Innovation Will Power Sustainable Shoe Market to $11.8B by 2027: Report

The sustainable footwear market is set to reach a combined value of $11.8 billion by 2027, according to a new study conducted by Grand View Research, supported by a growing interest among major brands to innovate new materials and production techniques.

Future growth in the sustainable footwear category will be attributable to these advancements, the U.S. market research firm said, especially when combined with functionality, comfort and appeal.

“Growing awareness among consumers, increasing education levels, social influences, and preference for sustainable products are anticipated to bode well for the market,” Grand View Research said. “Millennials and Gen X are more inclined towards individualized products.”

Footwear brands have begun to capitalize on the increased interest among consumers concerning the sustainability of their products, the research firm said, pointing to data that shows 68 percent of consumers consider sustainability to be a deciding factor when making a purchase.

Both athletic and non-athletic footwear are accounted for in the sustainable footwear segment studied in Grand View Research’s growth projection. Sustainable athletic footwear is increasing in importance as brands focus their research and development efforts in this area.

Nike’s Flyknit upper material, which is produced with new and recycled material, is nearly ubiquitous in the company’s footwear lineup, for example. Converse Renew, a footwear line under the Nike umbrella, is made from 100 percent recycled plastic.

However, non-athletic footwear still accounted for the largest share of overall revenue in the footwear market last year, with men driving the most purchases.

As brands like Nike, Adidas, New Balance and Veja continue to release new, sustainable footwear products, they will look to the Asia Pacific region for growth. China and India will be the most important economies in the region, according to Grand View Research, due to their massive populations and relatively untapped markets.

Increased disposable income, rapid urbanization and the increased influence of fashion trends will be prime factors determining success in the Asia Pacific, it added.

In the United States, footwear sales have suffered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with in-store sales of fashion footwear cut in half during March. Athletic footwear dollar sales were down in the mid-teens in the first quarter.