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Algae-Focused Materials Maker Boasts of ‘Record-Setting’ 2020

Since working with Vivobarefoot on its Ultra III Bloom water shoe, green technology company Algix has brought its algae-based materials to more than 100 companies, including names like Levi’s, Adidas and Sanuk.

Thanks to this growing network of partners, Algix reported Monday that it and its subsidiary Bloom saw a “record-setting year” in 2020 in terms of environmental impact. Products using Bloom materials cleaned and returned to the environment 303,941,629 liters of water, cleaned 190,454,484 cubic meters of air of CO2 from the atmosphere and sequestered 138,877 kilograms of CO2, it said.

From 2017 to 2020, Algix added, it cleaned and returned 745,755,453 liters of water, cleaned 467,301,798 cubic meters of CO2 from the atmosphere and sequestered 340,750 kilograms of CO2.

“Our customers appreciate our fully transparent methodology and life cycle assessment to help brands and consumers understand the impact of using algae from cleaning water,” Algix co-founder Ryan Hunt said in a statement.

Bloom works with government organizations and private companies to harvest algae biomass harvested from lakes and water treatment systems. The algae are dried, mixed with a “carrier polymer” such as polylactic acid or ethylene-vinyl acetate, and then processed into resin pellets. These pellets can be used in flexible foams for high-rebound applications such as shoes, sporting products and accessories.

Katie Pruitt, director of product at Sanuk, described the footwear company’s Bloom partnership as “another step forward in [its] commitment to finding new ways to reduce [its] footprint.” Using Bloom in Sanuk’s upcoming Grateful Dead collection, for example, has enabled the brand to clean 940,000 liters of water, she said.

Vivobarefoot, Bloom’s original footwear partner, received recognition earlier this month for its role in pioneering algae-based footwear. Footprint, a sustainability technology firm specializing in materials science engineering, gave Vivobarefoot one of its six 2021 Ocean Hero Awards. Other recipients included the fast-casual restaurant chain Sweetgreen, plant-based meal delivery service Daily Harvest and acai-centered food-and-beverage brand Sambazon.