Celebrating its sustainability commitments, Swedish automaker Volvo has released vegan leather sneakers to encourage walking instead of driving.
In a partnership with Canadian footwear company, Casca, Volvo USA is launching limited-edition vegan leather sneakers inspired by the brand’s electric Volvo XC40 Recharge.
The move is aimed at urging drivers to walk more, especially on the 21st anniversary of World Car-Free Day.
The companies say the move is aligned around their shared vision for a carbon-neutral future.
“We’re excited to team up with Casca footwear who share similar values and combine our passions for sustainability, technology, and understated modern design,” Matt Girgis, Managing Director of Volvo Car Canada Ltd., said in a statement shared with Ethos.
“At Volvo Cars, we are committed to setting the highest standards of sustainability in mobility and that goes beyond electrifying our fleet to transforming all aspects of our business,” Girgis said. “The shoe we have created with Casca in celebration of World Car-Free Day, is one way to recognize the many steps we are taking on our journey to climate neutrality.”
Electric cars, recycled shoes
Kevin Reid Lead Director and Co-Founder, Casca, says the Volvo XC40 Recharge’s environmental design was the “perfect inspiration” for the shoe.
“Through this collaboration we’re also celebrating many design firsts–our first shared design, our fastest production to market, and new recycled materials we’ve never used before,” Reid said.
Ten percent of the shoes’ soles are made from recycled car tires, marking a first for Casca. Seven plastic bottles are used for the upper of each shoe.
“We know that being advanced isn’t just about great design and technology, it means implementing ethical and sustainable practices,” said Braden Parker, CEO and Co-Founder, Casca. “This is just one of many similarities we see between our brand and Volvo Cars, we both want to create something with intention that lasts.”
Volvo says the shoe is more than just a symbol of support for World Car-Free Day. It says the shoe is aimed at encouraging people to live a more sustainable life by helping them to move fluidly between driving and walking. According to Volvo, this “Freedom to Move” is a sustainability ethos critical in protecting the planet.
Advancing a better future
Casca is also working to improve its shoemaking. It’s moving toward a water-based, low-energy UV treatment process. It also offers a two-year product warranty to encourage buying and wasting less.
By next year, the shoemaker says all of its knit uppers will be made from recycled or renewable materials. Casca visits all of its factories to ensure fair and ethical working standards across its supply chain.
Volvo was the first car manufacturer to use blockchain technology to ensure its raw battery materials are fully traceable. The brand has pledged to reduce emissions per vehicle by 40 percent by 2025; it will increase its recycled and bio-based materials by 25 percent, and all of its plants across the globe will be climate neutral—80 percent have already met the goal. By 2030, it will only produce electric vehicles.
The new sneakers are available for pre-order on the Casca website. World Car-Free Day is September 22nd.