YY Nation launches with the lowest carbon footprint sneaker in the world

YY Nation, a new sustainable shoe brand from New Zealand, is launching here and in the U.S. with its eco-friendly Legacy Footwear Collection, which includes the world’s lowest carbon footprint sneaker. 

Following three years of intensive research and development, YY Nation’s Nimbo shoe, made from bamboo and algae, has the industry’s smallest carbon footprint of 5.45kg CO2e (ISO 14067 Certified), which has three times fewer carbon emissions than conventional sneakers. 

The entire Legacy Footwear Collection has a carbon footprint ranging from 5.45kg CO2 emissions to 8.15kg CO2 emissions per shoe, which is 42 per cent to 61 per cent lower than conventional sneaker emissions of 14kg CO2. YY Nation shoes are Zero Carbon Certified1 and projected to be carbon negative in 2022.

The carbon footprint of all YY Nation shoes have been independently double certified by thinkstep-anz2 and Ekos™3. 

“We are on a journey to make the world’s most sustainable shoes,” said YY Nation Founding Director Jeremy Bank. “While we’re off to a good start, good is not enough. These are the worst shoes we’ll ever make in terms of carbon footprint, but are a leading sustainable option. 

“It feels great to be making a difference, we just want to keep doing better. With today’s launch, YY Nation is committing to a carbon-negative future that combines rigorous sustainability standards with incredible design and comfort,” adds Bank. 

Not only are YY Nation’s shoes some of the lowest carbon footprint sneakers in the industry, they’re also stylish, comfortable and incredibly durable. 

Different by design 

Made from a combination of carefully selected, sustainable materials like wool, bamboo, pineapple husk, recycled post-consumer plastic, algae and sugarcane, all elements of a YY Nation shoe are designed to be reused and repurposed to minimise waste, with a long-term goal of being 100 per cent sustainable. 

Materials include: 

  • Merino Wool: The ultra-fine Merino wool upper is soft, breathable, temperture-regulating, and moisture-wicking to maintain all day comfort. The wool is ethically sourced and traceable from New Zealand growers.

  • Woven bamboo/nylon mesh: The woven 70 per cent bamboo / 30 per cent nylon mesh upper resists mositure to keep feet cool and dry through any weather conditions, and has natural antibacterial properties. The bamboo is grown in ethical, OEKO-TEK® certified and sustainable forests, and the nylon thread is made from recycled plastic bottles. 

  • Pineapple Leather: A natural textile made from waste pineapple leaf fiber, pineapple leather was developed as a sustainable alternative to mass produced animal leather. Pineapple leaves are the waste products of the pineapple industry and are typically burnt, producing massive amounts of pollution and carbon emissions. By turning them into “leather” for YY Nation shoes, it’s not only a sustainable, vegan alternative to leather, but supports a whole new revenue stream for pineapple farmers. 

  • Sugarcane: When pressed, liquid from sugarcane is turned into bioethanol that becomes the base for soft, durable, flexible white soles, replacing harmful oil-based petrochemicals. YY Nation sugarcane soles are considered carbon negative, making your shoes not only light to wear but also light on the planet. 

  • Algae: Algae is the fastest growing plant on Earth. In recent years, there’s been an uncontrollable rise in algae due to an increase in human activity, leading to runoff of fertilisers that choke our waterways. By using algae, YY Nation shoes help clean waterways and purify the air. With every sole, YY Nation clears 24 liters of water and cleans 1.4 cubic metres of air. 

“Every component of the Legacy Footwear Collection, from the soles to the laces to the packaging, is made with sustainable, natural or waste materials that would otherwise be landfill-bound,” said Bank.

“We are conscious of how we bring things into the world but more careful of what we leave behind. We are proud to come from Aotearoa, New Zealand where we grew up enjoying nature as our playground, which is why we’re serious about protecting our land and oceans.” 

Wonder made wearable 

The Legacy Footwear Collection is launching with four styles available in 12 colours (colour options vary by style).

The uppers are available in soft, breathable certified Merino wool or woven bamboo/nylon mesh, the laces are made from post-consumer waste recycled plastics and the outsoles feature either sugarcane or algae combined with recycled rubber – a combination that can withstand any environment.

YY Nation shoes retail from $168 to $198 and are available in whole and half sizes ranging from US sizes 3.5 – 15 for men and 5 – 13 for women. 

The Legacy Footwear Collection includes: 

  • The Alto: This versatile high-top boot is the perfect casual footwear for all occasions and all-terrain, pairing perfectly with athleisure and streetwear. It is available in light and soft bamboo or Merino wool. 

  • The Cirro: This standard lace-up shoe is a must-have for everyday adventures. Available in fun and classic colours, from the playful rose quartz and vibrant spectra yellow to traditional all black, the Cirro is available in light and soft bamboo or Merino wool. The Cirro is available in various fun and fresh colors, including Aqua and Spectra Yellow. 

  • The Nimbo: A slip-on shoe featuring a sleek and functional design perfect for everyday casual wear. 

  • The Strato: The skateboard-style Strato is streetwear essential with a nod to 90s nostalgia and is as comfortable as versatile. 

The YY Nation Legacy Footwear Collection is sold exclusively online.

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