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Footwear Sustainability ‘Blooms’ With Algae-Based Soles

Algix, an algae-based consumer products supplier and parent company of the Bloom brand, said its first half Clean Water + Clean Air initiative found that more than 154 million liters of water was cleaned and returned to the environment, 96 million cubic meters of air was cleaned of CO2 from the atmosphere and 70,000 kilograms of CO2 was sequestered.

Algix expects to have cleaned more than 850 million liters of water and rid 524 million cubic meters of air of CO2 by the end of 2020. The first and second quarter savings represent a threefold increase of what the company saved in all of 2019.

More than 80 brand partners, including Bogs, Hush Puppies and Oboz, use Bloom in products ranging from footwear to surfboards. Bloom harnesses algae to transform air and water pollution into a replacement for plastics in consumer products.

An up-and-coming outdoor-oriented brand, Oboz incorporated Bloom insoles in its latest line of footwear, the Bozeman collection, which landed in stores and online on Aug. 4. “While our name is derived from Outside + Bozeman, we all spend a ton of time IN downtown Bozeman and these are the perfect shoes for around town, whether that’s walking our Main Street to the mountains trail system or running errands,” Rich Hohne, Oboz director of brand and consumer experience, said in a statement.

Oboz's Bozeman collection, "built for mountain town living with technical trail performance acumen," includes O-Fit insoles made from Bloom's algae-based material.
Oboz’s Bozeman collection, “built for mountain town living with technical trail performance acumen,” includes O-Fit insoles made from Bloom’s algae-based material. Oboz

O-Fit insoles made with Bloom elevate the shoes’ sustainability profile, augmenting an ingredient mix that includes Repreve recycled polyester fiber and offering men and women an eco-friendly footwear choice “built for mountain town living with technical trail performance acumen,” according to Oboz.

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Every product containing Bloom helps clean polluted water and captures carbon to lower the product’s environmental footprint. Bloom is an algae-blended, value-added ingredient used in flexible foams for high-rebound applications such as shoes, sporting products and accessories.

“We’re committed to reducing our carbon bootprint,” said David Cook, vice president of marketing at Bogs, said. “Bloom plays an essential role in helping us do so and it is encouraging to see what an impact they have already made.”

Ken Beaulieu, vice president of global product creation at Hush Puppies, said the company believes that commerce and sustainability are not mutually exclusive concepts.

“So it was a natural fit to partner with Bloom and incorporate their sustainable materials in our new Good Shoe collection for Spring 2021,” Beaulieu said.

Bloom, based in Meridian, Miss., is an algae-based raw material supplier providing sustainable materials for the footwear and consumer markets.

Additional reporting by Jessica Binns.