At Freeworld, designing sustainable shoes is not just a job or a one-time goal – it’s a slow yet steady journey we actively choose to embark on. Our Brisbane, Sydney and Korea teams aren’t afraid to push the boundaries and continually explore and test cutting-edge materials and technologies to improve our footwear range.
We understand that creating eco-friendly footwear requires patience, honesty and sometimes failure. However, just like walking (and coffee), we couldn’t imagine the Freeworld brand without it.
Feel good from the inside out & outside in
Innovative by design and supportive by nature, Freeworld’s collection has been carefully crafted to reduce foot fatigue and boost walking recovery. Our Walking, Comfort and Recovery ranges enable you to fully immerse yourself in the walking experience, letting your mind wander as you reconnect with yourself and your environment. It only makes sense, then, that our footwear be designed with the environment in mind.
“When you walk, you are massaging and honouring the earth. In the same way, the earth is trying to help you to balance your organism and mind” – Nhat Hanh
As we move towards designing more sustainable shoes, we work to break down each component from the upper to the outsole. This granular approach allows us to identify where we can enhance our sourcing and manufacturing processes.
From Natural Wool and Recycled textile from PET plastic bottles, the Freeworld team has made conscious efforts to ensure our new designs (coming soon) are kind to your feet and the environment. Below is an overview of our latest and most remarkable technologies and discoveries.
Recycled PET Textile
Used across all new ranges. PET stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate, which is a strong, lightweight, and versatile plastic resin commonly used in the manufacturing of food and beverage packaging, as well as in the production of fibres for clothing, shoes, and other textiles.
A new feature for one of our new Comfort product ranges, making it the perfect blend of style and practicality. Wool has long been recognised as one of the more environmentally-friendly fibre choices, as it is 100% natural, renewable, biodegradable and recyclable.
Another material from our upcoming Comfort range. Crafted using innovative eco-friendly leather technology from ENR, a green company based in Korea, one of our latest leather sneaker designs uses 90% less water and has an 80% lower carbon footprint than traditional leather footwear.
Recycled OrthoLite® Insole
Used within each of our sustainable shoes, OrthoLite® is a leading eco-friendly foam insole containing 5% recycled rubber, helping keep hundreds of tons of waste out of landfills each year.
High-density EVA Foam Arch Support
Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) is a copolymer with excellent flexibility, clarity, and low-temperature toughness. Freeworld’s trademarked Elanothene™ mixture (a standard EVA) is subjected to a unique baking temperature, resulting in improved mechanical properties and thermal stability.
A notable feature in our Baywalker design (and upcoming Comfort releases). We discovered that injecting our Elanothene™ mixture with discarded coffee powder (approximately 5% of the mass of the midsole, or 1x cup of coffee) boosts the durability and elasticity of the shoe – along with its sustainability!
It is cured to an exact temperature that provides both structure and comfort, absorbing impact with every step to restore and revive feet after a rigorous day.
Infused Natural Rubber
An ingenious blend of natural rubber and meticulously processed waste tire powder – making up approximately 20% of the outsole's mass for an eco-friendly type of Comfort.
Embrace a new era of responsible consumption with Freeworld. Manufactured from 100% recycled material, you can rest assured your order is packaged with the environment in mind.
The Freeworld Switch Project
During SS24 production, we plan to initiate the "Freeworld Switch Project". Here's how it works:
We take discarded or faulty shoes and EVA sandals and send them to our partner recycling facility in Korea.
- At this advanced recycling factory, we separate the EVA midsoles and components from the footwear and put them through a mechanical grinding process, transforming them into EVA powder
We then take this recycled EVA powder to a compound factory, mixing it with regular EVA powder in an 80/20 ratio.
- The next stop is the Injection EVA factory, where the magic happens. We inject the sustainable EVA compound into a moulding machine, and voila! We've got ourselves brand new Freeworld sandals, ready to hit the market.
The development of the Freeworld Switch Project is well underway, and we're thrilled to announce that it's set to launch during our SS24 production. Once we've successfully implemented this innovative technology, all our EVA-based sustainable shoes will be produced using this method, starting from 2025 and beyond.
Walking Towards a Greener Future – One Step At a Time
As a younger company, we are fully aware of the importance of establishing more sustainable processes and practices. However, we strive to do so without greenwashing or making empty pledges. At the core of our honest dedication lies a straightforward question that guides us in developing each product component: "How can we make this piece more sustainable?"
While we may not emerge victorious every time, we always give it our all. We view sustainability as a journey, a continuous effort that we are delighted to undertake hand in hand. And we can’t wait to see where this dedication and innovation takes the Freeworld brand!