Nigeria's Captain Unveils 'Greenest' Football Boots
During Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations opener against Equatorial Guinea, William Troost-Ekong, the team captain, made football history by being the first player to sport vegan-friendly boots crafted from eco-friendly materials like corn waste, sugarcane, and bamboo.
Troost-Ekong, formerly with Watford, showcased the custom-made Sokito boots, which are expected to hit the market this summer as the most sustainable football boots, primarily composed of bio-based elements.
Named "Scudetta," these boots boast a design inspired by Nigeria's scenery, incorporating the team's signature green colour. The boots feature a suede lining and tongue made from corn waste, a sole plate from castor beans, an insole composed of sugarcane and bamboo, and a collar made of tencel wood fibre knit. Beyond their innovative design, Sokito aims to make these boots the first predominantly bio-based football footwear.
Sokito, recognised as the winner of the Recycling Project of the Year at the 2023 UK Green Business Awards, strives to create football boots using 100% recycled and sustainable materials, combating the environmental impact of the 12.5 million boots discarded annually. Troost-Ekong, an investor in Sokito, expressed his enjoyment of being part of the boot development process, appreciating the vibrant design and connection to nature, serving as a fitting tribute to Nigeria.
The footballer was among 16 investors in Sokito, including former England and Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley, Dutch international Luuk de Jong, and David Wheeler, the Professional Footballers Association's inaugural sustainability champion. Sokito's founder, Jake Hardy, celebrated Troost-Ekong's inclusion in the Nigeria squad, highlighting the fantastic sight of him donning custom Sokitos.
In a related development, Vivobarefoot collaborated with material science specialist Balena to introduce a 3D-printed shoe crafted entirely from compostable materials. The "scan-to-print" process allows customers to create 3D-printed shoes from thermoplastic material BioCirflex, claimed to biodegrade in any compost environment. This launch followed Puma's initiative to transform one of its suede trainers into Grade A compost, potentially paving the way for large-scale recycling programmes.
Source: Business Green