At the beginning of 2019, the Swedish company Icebug became the first climate positive outdoor footwear brand. Icebug has joined the UN’s Climate Neutral Now Pledge, meaning the company is committed to reduce CO2 emissions as much as possible and then offsetting emissions and over-compensating with 30%.
Co-founder, co-owner and CEO David Ekelund said, “The journey towards climate positive has been fast. From aiming to be climate positive by 2020 and not really know what that would mean, to actually go ahead and do it just a couple of months later.
Sustainability work is often quite a grind and progress is made in small steps; long development cycles, and global supply chains make it slow. When we decided by the end of last summer to become climate positive by 2020, we really threw ourselves out into the unknown, but fully expecting it to become a lot of work and a substantial cost. Instead, it turned out to be something of a hack.”
For SS20, Icebug has taken sustainability work even further. All SS20 midsoles now contain 20% Bloom Foam – a type of foam made by algae. All textile uppers in the collection are bluesign® certified, as well as all linings. In addition, all RB9X outsoles contain 15% recycled rubber.
Karin Möller, creative director and head of design at Icebug, said, “Sustainability is a main part of our brand. Every material we use are under constant review, to see if we can make a less environmental impact without losing any performance.”
One of the highlights in the collection is the Outrun RB9X, which was the winner in the trail running footwear category at Outstanding Outdoor 2019. Outrun is also, according to Icebug, probably the most sustainable trail running shoe on the market.
Möller added, “If any other brand has managed to produce a more sustainable shoe – please contact us. We’re always striving to improve, as well as we’re always willing to share our knowledge with others. I believe that cooperation is a key when it comes to sustainability.”
Icebug’s OutRun RB9X is made with a focus on comfort, resulting in a trail running shoe ideal for both long-distance running and recreational runners looking for cushioning and stability. The outsole is made of Icebug’s own rubber compound RB9X, which has up to 40% better traction than other rubber compounds and an abrasion resistance 50% higher than what’s recommended for an asphalt running shoe.