New Balance, Wolverine Worldwide, Camper, Deckers & Allbirds All Join NFW's Naturally Circular Footwear Collective

Today we’re proud to announce the NFW Footwear Collective, a group of like-minded brands advancing groundbreaking, naturally circular performance materials in footwear. 

Members of the Footwear Collective include New Balance, Wolverine Worldwide, Allbirds, Camper, Deckers, and other leading shoe companies, all of which are working with NFW’s unparalleled ecosystem of plastic-free performance material solutions to drive the industry toward naturally circular, sustainable footwear. 

"NFW’s engineers have worked tirelessly to develop a natural solution for nearly every component of a shoe,” says Dr. Luke Haverhals, founder and CEO of NFW. “We’ve been on this journey since 2015 with some of our earliest partners — like Allbirds, Camper, and Deckers — who have lent their invaluable insight. With their collaboration and deep alignment with our sustainability vision, we have kept iterating to deliver what the footwear industry needs and what consumers demand that simultaneously achieves our uncompromising sustainability standards: zero plastic, low carbon, renewable, nutrient-based, and naturally circular. We are proud to have multiple products in market around the world with more launches on the way with our new partners.”  

Just last week Allbirds released the much anticipated Plant Pacer, a new lifestyle silhouette made with MIRUM®, NFW’s plastic-free, 100% biobased leather alternative with a carbon footprint an order of magnitude lower than the competition. The Plant Pacer is just the start for Allbirds as they explore how Plant Leather made with MIRUM, a new entrant to Allbirds' natural material portfolio, can be used on both existing and new silhouette. 

“For way too long, fashion companies have relied on dirty synthetics and unsustainable leather, putting established ways of doing things and costs before the environment. We wanted to put an end to that, which led us to create the Plant Pacer,” said Allbirds co-Founder and co-CEO Tim Brown. “Through the innovative use of natural materials, like Plant Leather and others, we’re going to continue stretching the limits of sustainable footwear.” 

Each of the brands in the Footwear Collective are actively engaged with NFW on product launches and development with NFW’s ecosystem of plastic-free, naturally circular materials. 

“New Balance is developing pinnacle performance footwear in 2024 that leverages NFW’s CLARUS® natural yarns,” says Katy O'Brien, Senior Manager of Innovation at New Balance. “NFW materials consider every stage of the material lifecycle — from sourcing natural and recycled ingredients to manufacturing with renewable energy and green chemistry to enabling end-of-life composting or recycling. NFW’s material breakthroughs are revolutionizing the way the entire industry makes, uses, and ‘disposes’ of products.” 

NFW and Wolverine Worldwide previously collaborated on a version of their iconic Chaco shoe (pictured right), replacing previously polyester components with CLARUS® to achieve synthetic-equivalent performance durability using only natural inputs “While there are numerous leather alternatives vying for our industry's attention, NFW’s material innovation stands alone in its ability to be a petroleum-free material durable enough for use in footwear, making it a desirable choice,” said Barry McGeough, Global VP of Innovation for Wolverine Worldwide. 

For more, see the complete press release. And stay tuned for updates! We expect to announce other key brand partners to the Footwear Collective throughout the year.