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VIVOBAREFOOT Partners with BLOOM to Make the First-Ever Moulded Shoe, Made from Algae

San Diego, May 26, 2017—Leading London-based barefoot shoe company VIVOBAREFOOT announced today its partnership with Meridian MS based BLOOM, which uses algae biomass harvested from freshwater sources around the world (and cleaning them up in the process) to make EVA foams out of a non-fossil fuel for the first time—an innovation set to massively clean up the global shoe industry. VIVOBAREFOOT shoes will be the first full shoes to use the material and will be available for purchase in the summer of 2017.

A pair of VivoBarefoot Ultra shoes, size Men's EU42, returns 57 gallons of clean water to habitat, and 40 balloons-worth of CO2, per LCA data.

A pair of VivoBarefoot Ultra shoes, size Men’s EU42, returns 57 gallons of clean water to habitat, and 40 balloons-worth of CO2, per LCA data.

Founded in 2012, VIVOBAREFOOT is a global barefoot shoe company, offering men’s, women’s and children’s shoes for everyday wear, running, off-road adventures, and more. In addition to encouraging people to get closer to nature, the company prides itself on its sustainability practices.

BLOOM is a performance-based materials manufacturer, founded in 2015. BLOOM offers the first sustainable alternative to the synthetic and petrochemical foams prevalent in today’s market. Using algae biomass helps offset the significant use of petroleum ingredients found in conventional flexible foams.

The VIVOBAREFOOT X Bloom collaboration will start by using the BLOOM algae-EVA foams in the Ultra shoes: the ultimate amphibious adventure shoes. A single pair of men’s size 42 VIVOBAREFOOT X Bloom shoes returns 57 gallons of clean water to habitat and reduces 40 balloons worth of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, per pair.*

“Our goal is to deliver the most performance-driven materials in the most environmentally-responsible manner,” said Mike Van Drunen, CEO of BLOOM. “It is a goal we constantly strive to improve upon, and we are excited to collaborate with VIVOBAREFOOT on the new Ultra line.”

“This is a true revolution for the footwear industry with the first plant based alternative to the petro-foams in ubiquitous use,” said Galahad Clark, founder and MD at VIVOBAREFOOT. “We are thrilled to be the first company to use BLOOM in our shoes and further our mission to make the perfect shoe… perfect for feet and minimal impact on the planet.”

The Ultra shoe using BLOOM technologies—made from algae—will be available for purchase in July 2017 on www.vivobarefoot.com.

For more information visit www.vivobarefoot.com and www.bloomfoam.com.

 

About VIVOBAREFOOT

VIVOBAREFOOT launched in 2012 as a standalone brand, and is based in London, England. VIVOBAREFOOT is on a mission to change the footwear industry based on one simple insight—shoes should let your feet do their natural thing. The shoes feature a patented, ultra-thin, puncture-resistant sole in every shoe that protects the foot and allows maximum sensory feedback. Designed using ancient wisdom with modern technology VIVOBAREFOOT is a complete shoe collection for off road, exercise and everyday wear, as well as a line for kids. Created by two cousins from a long line of cobblers, Galahad and Asher Clark are on a quest to make the perfect shoe—perfect for feet. VIVOBAREFOOT footwear is produced sustainably using recycled, locally sourced materials in independently monitored factories. For more information on VIVOBAREFOOT, visit www.vivobarefoot.com.

 

About BLOOM

Founded in 2015, BLOOM is an American performance-based materials manufacturer based in Meridian, Miss. BLOOM uses algae biomass harvested from freshwater sources around the world, (like lakes, rivers, and ponds) at high risk of algal bloom. Using algae biomass helps improve technical performance and offsets the use of petroleum ingredients found in conventional foams. Learn more at www.bloomfoam.com.

This Week’s Opportunity for Change: Running Shoes

This week’s Opportunity for Change is running shoes. Any runner will probably agree that there is no better way to kick start the day than with a solid morning run.

 

Running can be a very personal thing and obviously doesn’t require a lot of “stuff” other than you, the road, and a halfway decent pair of lace-ups.

Runners may or may not know this, but running shoes are comprised of a large percentage of ethylene vinyl acetate foam (EVA foam). Conventional EVA foam is derived from non-renewable petro-chemicals and can last as long as 1,000 years in a landfill. With over 20 billions pairs of shoes produced annually worldwide (all types), it’s imperative that alternative material solutions start to make their way into the forefront.

What BLOOM Foam brings to the running shoe market is renewable biomass content (between 15%-60% depending on the formulation). The renewable content is derived from algae biomass collected from waterways worldwide. Not only does the algae biomass collection turn a negative into a positive through the action of removing the algae from waterways and putting it to use in shoes, but it has other beneficial aspects too. For example, an average pair of running shoes might have a pound or more of foam contained in it’s various components. If that foam were to be made from BLOOM it would sequester the equivalent of approximately five standard 12” balloons (think birthday balloons) full of carbon from CO2. Extrapolated over tens of millions and even billions of pairs of shoes, and your left with the potential for an astronomical amount of balloon-equivalent carbon capture. Why use balloons for this example you ask? That’s easy, they are a good visual aid for the sake of discussion.

BLOOM Foam also has several performance advantages over conventional EVA foam.

  • Primarily, initial lab results are showing a slight but meaningful weight reduction in algae-derived foam versus conventional EVA foam in the same density. This could be a big deal for the hyper-competitive running shoe market that constantly strives for near weightlessness.
  • Secondary performance advantages are also being quantified for BLOOM Foam, though more third-party research is needed to prove them before they can be discussed in detail.

All in all, BLOOM Foam is a drop-in replacement for conventional EVA foam and a good choice for runners and shoe designers alike. #algae #‎opportunityforchange