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(The Gear Loop) - With sustainability currently at the forefront of the shoe and wider fashion industry at the moment, Swiss sportswear brand On has created the very first training shoe made from carbon emissions. 

Dubbed Cloudprime, these lightweight runners use a new foam material called CleanCloud, which is made by harnessing carbon emissions as a base material. Created in partnership with LanzaTech, Borealis and Technip Energies - due to their expertise in biochemicals and material development - the CleanCloud technology is the result of a five-year R&D process. 


Technology from LanzaTech captures the carbon monoxide that is produced by sources like steel mills before they’re released into the atmosphere. After this, the emissions enter a 'fermentation' process, where natural bacteria allow the gas to ferment and turn into ethanol. 

This ethanol is then dehydrated to create ethylene by Tecnic Energies, before Borealis turns this into ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) or, in other words, a plastic in pellet form. On’s team of running and hiking shoe experts can then take this material and start creating the lightweight foam midsole for its shoes. 

OnOn Cloudprime photo 2

"Holding the first-ever shoe made of carbon emissions in my hands is a huge milestone – not only for On, but for the whole sports industry," said Caspar Coppetti, co-founder and executive co-chairman of On. 

"Five years ago, this was barely a dream. Imagine what can happen in the future as we unlock the potential of alternative carbon sources with further research and collaboration with the best partners."

OnOn Cloudprime photo 5

Not only are the midsoles made from a clever material, but the outsoles are made from chemically upcycled TPU derived from post-consumer plastic waste. This is thanks to a partnership with circular start-up Novoloop.

This part of the shoe was also extensively tested, both in the laboratory and by athletes, ensuring that it met the same specification as regularly-created parts but with a heavily reduced carbon footprint. The upper is then created in collaboration with Fairbrics and created from a polyester-based material, which is also made from carbon emissions. 

OnOn Cloudprime photo 3

It is unclear as to whether or not the Cloudprime will make it into shops, but On has stated that these new materials could be used on products "in the future". 

Writing by Jack Evans. Editing by Leon Poultney.