Over recent years, the shoe brand Crocs has gained a cult-like following, but now the loved shoe company is promising to go completely vegan by the end of 2021. The company announced that it will commit itself to remove all animal products from its collections in an effort to enhance the company’s overall sustainability. The decision to go vegan comes alongside the company sustainability campaign that is attempting to cut its emissions and become a net-zero company by 2030.

The brand’s signature material, Croslite, is fully vegan, but Crocs occasionally feature leather in some styles. Crocs, Inc determined that in order to cut its already low carbon footprint, it needed to remove the animal-derived material from those designs. Currently, the carbon footprint for the Classic Clogs is 3.94 kg of CO2e, but the brand is aiming to lower it even further by innovating its Croslite material. Croslite is derived from nearly 45 percent recycled materials, making it one of the more sustainable mass-production materials on the market.

“Taking action to reduce our environmental footprint by implementing more sustainable practice across our entire business is the right thing to do for Crocs,” Crocs CEO Andrew Rees said. “As a company, we are deeply committed to accountability, and we’re confident that we have the right team, the right innovations, and the right partners to help us achieve our net-zero ambitions by 2030.”

The company is dedicating itself to the environment by improving its sustainability practices both in manufacturing and packaging. The company sold 85 percent of its Crocs products without boxes in 2020, and after the distribution’s success, the brand began developing other ways to reduce packaging and moreover minimize its carbon footprint.

Crocs, Inc. also prioritizes recyclability within its company model, working to keep its shoes out of the trash by promoting repurposing efforts and recycling programs. Beyond solely sourcing recyclable materials, the company also works to donate its used products as well as transition its manufacturing plants to renewable energy.

The shoe company is far from the first to drop animal products. Many companies across the market have dropped leather and even begun working to innovate their polyurethane-based vegan leathers. Alongside Crocs, brands such as Reebok started researching plant-based materials, leading to the company’s debut of a shoe made with a corn-based sole. Last year, Reebok revealed its Forever Floatride GROW sneakers using castor beans, eucalyptus trees, algae, and rubber trees.

Earlier this year, Nike teamed up with Piñatex to release its plant-based Air Force 1. The iconic shoe was released with redesigned vegan versions of Air Max 90, Air Zoom Type, and Air Max 95 as a part of Nike’s Happy Pineapple summer collection.

“This summer has just gotten sweeter. Nike merges their innovative silhouettes with juicy hues and clever details paying homage to a summertime staple—the pineapple,” Piñatex wrote in an Instagram post. “Piñatex has been used on the brand’s iconic models in key parts of the shoe together with other sustainable materials such as cork.”

Biotechnology company Bolt Threads developed vegan leather from fast-growing mycelium named Mylo. The company partnered with several fashion giants in its Mylo Consortium including Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, and more. The vegan leather trend is spreading rapidly across the fashion industry, pushing more companies like Crocs to reduce emissions, improve sustainability, and leave animal products out of the fashion industry.

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