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Meet Our New Biobased Outsole, PLIANT™

1/12/2024

We’re kicking off the new year with the introduction of a brand-new material, PLIANT™.

PLIANT™ is a groundbreaking 100% biobased based material made from plants, not plastic®. It is created by a leading tech company, NFW. Bared is proud to be the first Australian footwear label to introduce PLIANT™.

NFW is the master behind our plant-based vegan upper material, MIRUMⓇ. Sharing the same values when it comes to creating bio-based products, we turned to NFW to source a better material for our outsoles.

Let’s break down what sets PLIANT™ apart.

PLIANT™

What makes PLIANT™ so different?

Zero. Plastics.

PLIANT™ outsoles by NFW are the world’s first naturally cured, USDA-certified 100% biobased outsoles. PLIANT™ is made with natural rubber from responsibly sourced Hevea brasiliensis trees.

In a technological leap forward, PLIANT™ is naturally cured with NFW’s revolutionary patented plant-based curative. This curative means that PLIANT™ outsoles are both recyclable and naturally circular, and can safely return to the earth at end-of-life. PLIANT™ outsoles truly stand apart.

PLIANT™

Why are we changing our outsoles?

Simple, we want an outsole that is completely plastic-free. When you hear ‘rubber sole’, you think 100% natural rubber but that’s just not true. While rubber is harvested from Hevea trees, it needs a binding agent (which is normally petrochemicals, i.e. plastics) otherwise it’s unstable and will deform or snap.

Did you know that when you walk, you leave behind a trail of microplastics from the rubber soles? These micro-shavings are washed into stormwater drains, making their way from the streets to the ocean. One thing we know for certain, microplastics are too small to be retrieved from the ocean. Ever.

Just because microplastics are difficult to see, doesn’t mean we should ignore them. They can have a toxic effect on soil, leaching chemicals into the surrounding environment which can affect microbial activity and plant growth.

It’s irrefutable, microplastics are toxic to the environment. Even though it’s an expensive venture, we’re willing to invest in PLIANT™ if it means less impact on the planet.

How is it made?

It’s all about the Ground Rules™. NFW has three of them.

Rule 1: Start Well

From cellulose to natural elastomers and plant oils, everything they need is in nature. They responsibly source plants instead of fossil fuels, through NFW’s supply chain partners. All of it is packed with vitamins, minerals and proteins that naturally go back to the earth at end-of-life.

Rule 2: Stay Clean

NFW transforms nutrients into durable, performance materials without adding synthetic toxins or plastics at any manufacturing stage. Instead of plastics, PFAs, phthalates, and heavy metals, they naturally cure Hevea sap with their revolutionary patented plant-based binding agent to make 100% plastic-free rubber outsoles.

Rule 3: End Well

PLIANT™ is rigorously tested to ensure durability and quality. It goes through 4 stages of performance testing: elongation, tensile strength, DIN abrasion and hardness. Passing with flying colours, we get a performance-worthy outsole with no synthetics.


A note from our Founder/CEO, Anna Baird.

“I’m really proud to be working with companies like NFW who are world leaders in creating better materials for our planet. I believe the biggest impact we can have is to create our products using the greenest materials in the world. We’re improving our shoes one component at a time as we source the best materials from around the globe.”

Discover Our PLIANT™ Range.

Shearwater

Meet Shearwater.

Let’s cut to the chase— get ready to make Shearwater White Leather & White Sole Sneakers your everyday obsession. Where groundbreaking materials meet unbeatable style, this low-profile sneaker will see you through the workweek and weekend. Hit the streets in a matching set for a chic, casual look.

Silkie, White Leather

Meet Silkie.

Next up we have, Silkie White Leather & Gum Sole. Expertly crafted with your comfort in mind, these kicks are made for off-duty adventures. Pair them with rich brown tones to accentuate the subtle contrast of the gum sole.

Silkie, White Leather

Quality in every detail.

Made by artisans, these kicks are crafted with LWG-certified leather and rPET heel counters and toe puffs. Of course, it wouldn’t be Bared with our crazy comfy footbed. Both new sneakers feature our B.plantfoam™ footbed, another revolutionary product made from 72% biobased materials. We’re all about minimising the use of petroleum-based materials throughout our production.

But that’s not all. Get ready for more styles to drop in the coming weeks and soon our entire footwear range will feature PLIANT™ outsoles.

Our journey is far from over.

We’re paving the way to accessible biodegradable footwear, one material at a time. While PLIANT™ is a huge step in the right direction, our journey is far from over. Our goal is to create footwear that comes from nature and at the end of life can return to the earth without leaving chemicals behind. Thank you for coming on this journey with us.

We’re making moves in the sustainability space. To read more about our initiatives head to Our Impact.

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