The needed future of football boots
Recently, there has been a brand called Sokito beginning to make some waves in the boot world. While not officially launched yet, the brand promises to make their boots from fully eco-friendly materials. They are also starting a pilot scheme to take old boots and recycle them into new product. While a bold plan, it does sound very promising. Sokito points out that boots can take up to 1000 years to decompose so taking boots out of that pipeline and using to make new product can reduce tons of waste. The commitment to being carbon neutral from the beginning as well as a commitment to fair working conditions and pay.
Not all of tech being used is new. Using castor beans for some of the materials on the boots is something Nike did with the original GreenSpeed. But the difference here is that Sokito seems committed as a brand to make all of their boots eco-friendly, rather than just being full of buzzwords. This is a similar approach to what the new(ish) running Hylo is taking to running shoes.
The disappointing thing that naturally comes from these great ideas are the questions that we have to ask ourselves about the bigger brands. Yes, they have begun recycling programs, but it is not a core part of their business models. Yes, they are making more eco-friendly products but again there is no end of life plan for once the products have been used. I have mentioned this before but if Nike figured out how to make a eco-friendly footbl boot a decade ago, why did they not continue to do so? If brands like Hylo and Allbirds can offer discounts for sending them old products, why can’t adidas?
Also, if they brands are so committed to becoming (not are) carbon-neutral and eco-friendly, why are there so many products on the market? I will shout this from the mountaintops until I am blue in the face; we need less product, less colourways, less releases from the big brands on the market. Look at how easy it is to pick up old boots these days, look at how many classic boot sellers we have on Instagram. Look at how many boots are constantly marked down on sale at retailers. That shows how overproduction has been a massive issue for some time. As an aside, it is actually more eco-friendly to buy slightly used boots from resellers than it is to buy a new boot from a retailer.
By teaming up with Football Rebooted, Sokito are promising that they will save many boots from landfills and I would personally love to see their renewal process.
The other part of this bargain is on us. I love collecting boots, I love buying boots. But we all have to do our part and buy a little bit less. Maybe instead of buying two pairs of boots, grab just one. Instead of three, two. Yes, a lot of the change needs to come from the biggest sportswear companies, but we can do our little bit to help as well.
Finally, brands like Sokito are making promises that seem to be heading the right direction. We have seen other brands make some eco-friendly promises before but not fulfill them. If Sokito can pull this off for football boots, it will be the change that every brand should strive to make.
What do you think about boots being made from recycled old boots? Make sure to share this with your friends and please follow me on Instagram and Facebook!