100% biobased outsoles – a plastic free foundation for sustainable footwear.
PLIANT™ outsoles leverage the incredible versatility of the Hevea brasiliensis tree. Our categorically unique plant-based curative unlocks petrochemical-free performance for 100% natural rubber. By working with PLIANT™, designers and brands are no longer limited to synthetic rubbers and natural rubbers cured with petrochemicals.
The majority of shoe soles are either 100% petroleum-based (i.e., synthetic) or contain only a very small ~10-20% natural rubber. In fact, 70% of “rubber” produced today is synthetic. From the extraction of the fossil fuels used to make synthetic rubber to continuous microplastic pollution throughout the synthetic outsole’s use, petroleum-based rubber damages the environment at every step.
We’ve created a 100% biobased alternative that eliminates toxic chemicals and microplastic pollution from the equation. The primary input is natural rubber, and our patented plant-based curative enables footwear-worthy performance with absolutely no synthetics for the first time. PLIANT™ leverages standard compression molding infrastructure, which allows for rapid scalability. Unlike any other, NFW outsoles can be mechanically recycled or safely returned to the earth.
Partnering with Meramec
NFW is partnering with Meramec, a global leader in footwear manufacturing. With more than 60 years of industry experience, Meramec brings success at scale to the PLIANT™ material family.
PLIANT™ made its debut in the Degenerate, a first-of-its-kind 100% biobased sneaker from UNLESS Collective, the trailblazing streetwear brand backed by former Adidas executive Eric Liedtke. The Degenerate features PLIANT™ outsoles produced at Meramec’s facilities in Santiago De Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.
Read more about our partnership with Meramec on the NFW blog.