Swiss running shoe brand wants to expand biobased content

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In Switzerland, footwear company On is using biobased materials as part of an ongoing effort to make its popular running shoes more sustainable.

“Sustainability is one of the criteria for everything we do,” cofounder Casper Coppetti tells swissinfo.ch.

“[Our customers] are young and educated and they don’t think growth should be at the expense of the planet.”

Currently, only part of the shoes’ propulsion contains biobased materials. But the company is keen to replace the 80-plus percent of the shoe that is still petroleum-based and is actively searching for alternatives.

“We are moving so fast that we are constantly running into questions that we don’t have the answers to,” On employee Sofia Cubillos adds. “There’s no handbook for how to do things. We have to figure it out along the way.”

On was founded in 2010 in Zurich by Coppetti, David Allemann and former professional athlete Olivier The shoes, on average, sell for CHF190-270 ($195-278) per pair.