Keen unveils upcycling certification program to reduce industrial waste

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-09-06 08:34:20 – USA

Keen, Inc., a global footwear brand, has created a new certification program that shows how much industrial waste gets recycled into its shoes. The new Keen Harvest Certified Program, a tiered program aimed to decrease industrial waste by upcycling material into shoes, will be added to Keen's Detox the Planet Initiative.

The initiative, which builds on Keen's expanding Harvest service, seeks to reduce global landfill strain, reduce the usage of virgin materials, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Beginning in 2022, Keen plans to publish the details of this procedure.

The Keen Harvest Certification Program has three levels of certification: Gold (more than 50% upcycled materials), Silver (more than 25%), and Bronze (greater than 10%). The ratings reveal the percentage of waste that is waste upcycled into shoes.

The Howser Harvest is the first shoe to receive this accreditation, with upcycled car seat leather accounting for 80% of the upper which will be launched in November.

The vice president of The Keen Effect, Erik Burbank, said that they originally launched Harvest goods 15 years ago utilizing industrial waste from the rice sector. Harvest is about repurposing industrial waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, generating something new and valuable in the process while reducing the demand for new materials. Harvest goods are being certified to give transparency to fans as well as to demystify and inspire other businesses to assist combat the industrial waste problem.

Burbank added that less trash in landfills, less virgin materials sourced, and fewer greenhouse gases generated - it's a trifecta of environmental benefits. They're still researching additional Harvest materials and fine-tuning the entire concept, with the goal of making the software open-source in early 2022. This isn't about giving Keen a competitive advantage. They hope that other brands will copy and improve on what they're doing, and then share what they've learned with others. 

The Harvest Collection will expand for spring '22, with the inclusion of the Howser Harvest Sandal for men and women, Elsa sneakers for women, and more Howser Harvest slip-on and lace-up versions for men and women.

Upcycled discarded coffee grounds will be used in some of the new versions. This prevents coffee grounds from ending up in landfills, where they produce methane, a greenhouse gas that is believed to be more damaging than carbon dioxide, another greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

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