Cyclon: Meet The 100% Recyclable, Zero-Waste Running Shoe You Use But Never Own

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Swiss-based high-performance running brand On launched a 100% recyclable shoe, Cyclon with the brand describing it as ‘the shoe you will never own’ given that runners can avail of the shoes through a subscription service.

Slated to release in autumn of this year (2021), On’s 100% recyclable shoe does not compromise on performance rather it is designed for training and racing at speed with a net weight of 200g and a heel-toe drop of 8mm.

The company’s new footwear brand is called Cyclon, inspired by the circular weather system, which echoes the circular nature of the product, and the impact it will have on the sportswear industry.

The upper material (50%) of the zero waste Cyclon is derived from castor beans, representing On’s commitment to reducing dependency on virgin petroleum-based materials, and each piece made from a single cut of yarn with no dyes used to colour the upper part as the product is only available in white. The midsole is developed from a Pebax-based foam which On claims is feather-light and offers massive energy return, better than the brand’s existing Helion foam.

The subscription service is a first-come service, with the company stating that they will deliver the shoes once the minimum demand in an area is met, in order to ship in bulk and reduce environmental costs.

Source: On

In a press release seen by Green Queen, On Co-Founder Olivier Bernhard expressed his pride at achieving a fully recyclable, performance running shoe that shows that sustainability and performance can run hand in hand. “The subscription service enables runners to not only receive one of the highest performing shoes we’ve engineered, but to continuously receive the best and most up-to-date shoe technology coming out of our lab.”

Cyclon’s service sees runners sign up and pay GBP£25 (approx. US$34) every month. Once you’ve got the shoes and worn them out, you let On know you need a new pair via your account and you send the old ones back to the brand via an included returns label. Once you inform On about the replacement, they will send out a new pair and the returned Cyclon shoes will be broken down and turned into raw materials for new products.

Making a fully recyclable, performance running shoe is a huge accomplishment, one that we’re immensely proud of. But we went a step further. We wanted to show that sustainability and performance go hand in hand. The subscription service enables runners to not only receive one of the highest performing shoes we’ve engineered but to continuously receive the best and most up-to-date shoe technology coming out of our lab

Olivier Bernhard, co-founder, On

On co-founder David Allemann said in a statement that Cyclon is a sustainable solution in every sense.”From an environmental perspective, as a business opportunity and for the benefit of our runners. In engineering our sustainable product technology, we haven’t sacrificed performance. We’ve enhanced it.”

On expects the shoe to provide performance up to 400km (around 250 miles), and will replace the shoe twice a year which amounts to £150 (approx US$208) per pair, with the company believing that the future of running shoes is subscription-based.

Customers in select countries can sign up for Cyclon and the shoe will be available via the subscription service in the latter half of 2021.

Sustainable footwear is having a moment around the world with several brands launching new products for conscious consumers. Hong Kong recently welcomed a homegrown eco sneaker label, Lono sneakers that the company describes as ‘insanely breathable’ and created with 100% vegan, eco-friendly and natural materials. 

Reebok and Nike have also been churning out their own plant-based, vegan-friendly and recycled designs in the last months along with Adidas who has come forward and revealed that a plant-based leather, recycled cotton, and a climate-friendly running shoe is in the pipeline for 2021.

Based in New York, Thousand Fell has created the world’s first completely recyclable shoe, which is made from biodegradable, recycled waste and plant-based materials and also offers gift cards to customers who hand in their old sneakers, which are then refurbished and sent to underprivileged communities, or taken apart and upcycled into new sneakers. 

Want more eco-friendly vegan sneaker news? Check out all the latest here.

Lead image courtesy of On.


  • Tanuvi Joe

    Born and bred in India and dedicated to the cause of sustainability, Tanuvi Joe believes in the power of storytelling. Through her travels and conversations with people, she raises awareness and provides her readers with innovative ways to align themselves towards a kinder way of living that does more good than harm to the planet. Tanuvi has a background in Journalism, Tourism, and Sustainability, and in her free time, this plant parent surrounds herself with books and rants away on her blog Ruffling Wings.

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