Monday, May 20, 2024

Asics Introduces Its First Closed-Loop Design

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Asics has partnered with Terracycle on a recycling process for its first pair of closed-loop shoes.

TerraCycle has announced its groundbreaking recycling initiative for Asics’ latest product, the Nimbus Mirai, a performance running shoe designed to be fully recyclable at the end of its life. This innovation marks Asics’ first venture into closed-loop products, made possible by TerraCycle’s custom recycling process. The shoe takes its name from the Japanese word “Mirai,” which translates to “future,” reflecting Asics’ commitment to reduce its impact on future generations. Asics says the Nimbus Mirai is one of the most advanced shoes it ever made.

Fumitaka Kamifukumoto, General Manager at Asics’ Footwear Production Division, called the launch a proud moment for Asics and an important milestone in the footwear giant’s ambition to be a net-zero carbon emission business by 2050. “It has remained our focus not to compromise the product’s performance at all, so that runners can wear the shoe as they would any other from ASICS — protected and supported as they replenish their body and mind. We ask runners to take an extra step with this shoe, however, and bring it back to us once they have finished with it. That way, we can continue our mission towards creating a Sound Earth for future generations.”

The initiative extends beyond just recycling old shoes; it represents a fundamental shift for Asics toward offering more sustainable consumer products. Tom Szaky, CEO and Founder of TerraCycle, praised the collaborative effort. “This is an incredible example of collaboration between two major stakeholders in the lifecycle of a product,” Szaky said in a statement. “Asics is the driving force behind the closed-loop initiative and TerraCycle’s innovative closed-loop recycling process allows athletes and consumers across the world to know their running shoes will be recycled into new shoes and not sent to landfills or incinerators.”

Asics Nimbus Mirai
International recycling leader TerraCycle announces the recycling process behind Asics first closed-loop product | Courtesy

The Nimbus Mirai was introduced April 11 as a sustainable solution to the environmental challenges posed by traditional footwear production. Worldwide, an estimated 23.9 billion pairs of shoes are produced annually, with 95 percent destined for waste disposal, highlighting a significant environmental issue.

Fumitaka Kamifukumoto, General Manager at Asics’ Footwear Production Division, addressed this issue. “The footwear industry has yet to come up with an adequate solution to this waste problem,” Kamifukumoto said. “We’ve done extensive research, and we’re proud to announce a performance running shoe designed with materials that can be worn and re-worn, ending the single-use lifecycle of our products.”

TerraCycle’s process uniquely enables the complete recovery and recycling of all materials in the new shoe — from the soles to the laces. In an Asics first, consumers can return worn-out Nimbus Mirai shoes using a provided shipping label or by dropping them off at designated retail locations for recycling.

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