Being at the cutting edge of athletic-inspired safety shoes is in our DNA. But so are looking for ways to be more sustainable. That’s why we incorporate front-running materials like BLOOM™. This innovative and unique algae-based material enables us to deliver comfortable, safe, and durable safety shoes in a more sustainable way. Haze Tellus, our first high-performance safety sneaker featuring a BLOOM™ EVA midsole was launched in 2021. Since then, we’ve continuously looked for ways to be more sustainable and lower our carbon footprint even further. For us, it’s a work that never stops.
In 2007, Ryan Hunt realized that algae bloom caused by industrial wastewater posed a big problem for the environment – but also an opportunity. He believed that harvesting and processing these problematic algae could turn them into useful and sustainable materials, while at the same time undoing some of the damage caused by the algae. So, Ryan teamed up with engineer Mike Van Drunen and co-founded Algix to further work on this idea. In 2016, after years of hard work, Algix introduced BLOOM™. The first algae-blended EVA foam suitable for applications that require high rebound rates such as lightweight, durable, and cushy soles in sports shoes. Since then, BLOOM™ has been used by numerous brands and continues to refine their materials to push the limits of sustainable materials.
Algae is harvested from polluted water which then is dried and prepared for processing. The algae are then subjected to immense heat and pressure under a significant amount of time, which induces a plasticization process. Then, through extrusion, base polymers are blended in with the algae making it into pellets. These pellets get mixed with non-biodegradable material that finally results in a flexible, high rebound, EVA foam.
By mixing non-renewable material with BLOOM™ when manufacturing our soles, we can lower our carbon footprint without compromising quality, comfort, or safety.
For every pair of Solid Gear soles featuring BLOOM™, 38 liters of toxic wastewater gets purified of algae. This has a positive impact on the environment, society, and marine life and hampers further algae bloom. On top of this, 24 m2 of purified air is also released back into the atmosphere.