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Supporting a sustainable sugar-based resin

An innovative use for sugarcane, assessed to a code of conduct jointly developed by Proforest, aims to make a positive impact on the world of fashion.

Proforest’s client, Braskem, has co-developed a sugar-based foam used to create shoe soles, which is making news around the world. Proforest supported Braskem, a Brazilian-based petrochemical company, on the design and development of its Ethanol Supplier Management Programme. This programme has two key pillars: compliance – setting out the minimum requirements expected from ethanol suppliers; and excellence – a continuous improvement approach for sugarcane production, sugarcane being the base material of ethanol.

As innovators in the field of bio-plastics, one of Braskem’s uses for ethanol is to create sugar-based resins, as alternatives to the standard petroleum-based materials. Braskem’s bio-plastics are used by a range of companies, including Ikea and Lego, and its latest partnership is with a two-year-old start-up shoe company called Allbirds.

Together Braskem and Allbirds have create a sugar-based EVA (ethylene vinyl-acetate) foam, branded ‘SweetFoam’, which has been used to manufacture the soles of a new range of flipflop beach shoes.

The Allbirds shoes were launched this month and have already been creating an interest – including an endorsement from actor and environmentalist Leonardo di Caprio.

Proforest is proud to have played a part in developing the code of conduct by which the source raw material for this innovative product are assessed. 

Published 22.08.2018

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