Natural Fiber Welding adds New Balance and Allbirds to sustainable footwear collective


In Illinois, a producer of vegan leather made from agricultural waste has added multiple brands to its Footwear Collective for promoting the use of biobased, low-carbon materials in shoes that that “return to the earth” when discarded. 

Natural Fiber Welding reports that New Balance, Wolverine Worldwide, Camper, Deckers and Allbirds have joined the sustainable shoe ecosystem. 

“NFW’s material breakthroughs are revolutionizing the way the entire industry makes, uses, and ‘disposes’ of products,” Katy O’Brien, Senior Manager of Innovation at New Balance, says in a press statement. O’Brien adds that NB is developing “pinnacle performance footwear” in 2024 that leverages NFW’s CLARUS® natural yarns. 

NFW and Wolverine Worldwide previously collaborated on a version of their iconic Chaco shoe, replacing previously polyester components with CLARUS to achieve synthetic-equivalent performance durability using only natural inputs. Earlier this month, Allbirds launched Plant Pacer, a new lifestyle sneaker featuring Plant Leather made with MIRUM®, NFW’s 100% biobased leather alternative.

Through the Footwear Collective, NFW and its partners will reduce impact across the value chain. The brands, which also include Ralph Lauren, and smaller partners are actively engaged with NFW on product launches and development.