London-based shoe company Vivobarefoot has added plant-based footwear to its sustainable shoe offering.

The entire sole of the Primus Bio and 70% of the upper is made from plant-based polymer (Susterra Propanediol), making it the least petroleum-reliant performance shoe in the world, the firm says.

Susterra Propanediol is a by-product from the glucose in field corn and is petroleum-free, non-toxic and 100% USDA certified. The material gives greater flexibility in the cold and is resilient to abrasions and general wear. Susterra Propanediol uses 42% less energy than the standard petroleum based materials used by the global footwear industry, and 56% less greenhouse gas emissions.

The development marks the latest step in the brand’s quest to become 90% sustainable by 2020.

Founded in 2012 by Galahad Clark, a seventh generation descendant of the Clark Shoes company, and his cousin Asher Clark, every Vivobarefoot shoe features a patented, ultra-thin, puncture-resistant sole that protects the foot and allows maximum sensory feedback.

It’s long-term aim is to make the most sustainable shoes on the planet and has already pioneered shoes made of repurposed algae (Ultra Bloom), and another Eco range made of 50% recycled plastic – with 17 recycled bottles per pair. Last year, the brand diverted over 2m plastic bottles from landfills.

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“Put simply, we believe that that the perfect shoe is perfect for feet. With minimal environmental impact on the planet,” says design director Asher Clark. “Sustainability is journey and the Primus Bio champions the future of sustainable materials which I believe will be largely bio-based. This is an exciting step in the right direction away from the single-use petroleum-based alternatives commonly used in sports shoes.”

The Primus Bio will be available to purchase from the Vivobarefoot website in 2019.

Last week global fitness brand Reebok unveiled the inaugural product from its ‘Cotton + Corn’ sustainable products initiative, in a move that brings its first plant-based footwear to the market.