As the saying goes, one brand’s trash is another brand’s high performance, supremely comfortable, high eco-content treasure!
We love talking about the “waste” side of manufacturing because we’re obsessed with waste: minimizing it, capturing it, and repurposing or recycling it into premium footwear ingredients .
Through our ZERO Waste Initiative, we’re closing the loop on our own production waste by gathering both pre and post production waste foams, and repurposing them at our dedicated, in-house recycling facility.
With the launch of our latest eco formulation range — HybridPlus-Bio™ and HybridPlus-Recycled™ — OrthoLite delivers two new options for higher levels of eco-content, while maintaining sustainable comfort and critical performance.
For brand partners, these are unrelenting eco comfort and performance products made from 50% – 57% eco-content and suited for all footwear categories. Consumers will experience the HybridPlus insole technology as perfectly cushioned, lightweight and highly breathable insoles, that align with both their comfort and eco-conscious expectations and values.
For OrthoLite, HybridPlus-Bio™ and HybridPlus-Recycled™ represent the latest development in our expanding commitment to creating more sustainable footwear technologies. Since 1997, all OrthoLite open-cell insoles have included a minimum of 5% recycled rubber material. We’ve been building on that ever since to reduce our “eco footprint” without ever sacrificing comfort or performance.
OrthoLite® HybridPlus-Recycled™ includes 50% eco-content, composed of:
- 7% recycled rubber powder
- 43% recycled PU foam
OrthoLite® HybridPlus-Bio™ elevates eco-content to 57% composed of:
- 7% bio-oil derived from castor
- 7% recycled rubber powder
- 43% recycled production waste foam
The HybridPlus line joins:
- OrthoLite EcoLT: 11% total eco content
- From 6% bio-oil and 5% recycled rubber
- OrthoLite Eco: 17% total eco content
- From 12% bio-oil and 5% recycled rubber
- OrthoLite Hybrid: 20% total eco content
- From 5% recycled rubber and 15% production waste foam
- OrthoLite Recycled: 98% total eco content
- From 98% post-production waste material and 2% water-based binder
Why Recycled Content?
There are many approaches to lessening the negative environmental impacts in footwear. We can make less and consume less. We can use renewable and sustainably-sourced materials, like our proprietary bio-oil. We can work toward circular–or end of life–solutions. We can work to find alternatives to the toxic ingredients often used in footwear manufacturing. We can make our factories more energy efficient and less reliant on petroleum-based energy sources. We can assess how efficiently we’re utilizing current ingredients and materials to maximize the usable life span of every element.
The opportunities are endless, so much so that innovation keeps moving the goalposts! This is a good thing. It’s why we talk about sustainability in steps. Our goals represent nothing less than monumental leaps, yet we will only reach them through intention-driven steps.
In our quest to evolve our company toward increasingly higher levels of sustainability for the environment and the health and wellbeing of our team, the point is that ALL of these approaches must be addressed.
Which approach to sustainability does the HybridPlus line support?
While the HybridPlus line-up serves the increasing consumer demand for more responsibly-produced footwear, it also internally serves our global, ZERO Waste initiative.
This commitment includes investment in a proprietary manufacturing system that elevates waste minimization and management beyond the traditional standards of LEAN manufacturing. It also includes participation with the Higg Index to transparently share the company’s progress and help other manufacturers work toward the same.
Central to this approach is using ALL of our materials wisely managing and repurposing or recycling our pre and post production waste end to end.
Zero waste in the context of HybridPlus means:
- Less material going to a landfill because it’s ALL recycled onsite back into new, perfectly functioning foam
- Lower reliance on petroleum-based ingredients because of (the aforementioned) recycling AND, incidentally, because our factories are solar-powered
- Lower energy use overall
- The Bio-oil in the HybridPlus-Bio is plant based from castor and is non-food, low impact crop.
Improved eco-performance is not a compromise on quality. The OrthoLite HybridPlus line up delivers the same superior comfort and performance you and your customers expect: long-term cushioning, high breathability, lightweight, washability, antimicrobial properties, and effective moisture management.
Learn more about HybridPlus-Bio and HybridPlus-Recycled at ortholite.com.