Dow leads the way to more sustainable footwear with ENGAGE REN plant-based polyolefin elastomers

Dow’s innovative technology supports the footwear industry on its sustainability journey, bringing lower carbon material choices to consumers, says company.

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May 3 2022
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Dow has announced the launch of ENGAGE REN, “an innovative and more sustainable brand extension to the ENGAGE range of high-performing polyolefin elastomers (POEs).” The new brand enabled by Dow’s Ecolibrium technology, will help the footwear industry to unlock a lower carbon footprint and develop more sustainable products which offer the same high-performance results, said the company.

Some of the key benefits that ENGAGE REN will offer manufacturers in the footwear industry include: improved foam quality and polymer consistency; better resilience; lighter foams with equivalent hardness; improved abrasion resistance and durability, as per the statement.

When used alongside other recycled materials, brands will be able to offer a more complete sustainable footwear option to their customers. Soon, these products will be available to sustainability-conscious consumers through their collaboration with footwear brand, Crocs, said Dow. The company has begun supplying plant-based polymers for use in Crocs’ manufacturing process of its proprietary Croslite material, which is said to have an even lower CO2 impact than their current material. The company will take a “mass balance approach to scaling the percentage of plant-based polymers into its footwear over time.” Crocs is the first footwear brand to go-to-market with this new material technology.

ENGAGE REN POEs are produced using renewable energy and plant-based feedstocks such as used cooking oil. As only waste residues or by-products from an alternative production process are utilised, these raw feedstock materials don’t consume extra land resources nor compete with the food chain, said Dow.

“Manufacturers, brands, retailers and consumers all recognise the role they play in reducing the impact of climate change and as a result, are seeking out more sustainable options,” said Imran Munshi, Global Bio-Polymers and Consumer Market Manager at Dow. “Combining a lower carbon footprint and no compromise on performance, ENGAGE REN provides the footwear industry with an innovative solution that enhances the sustainability profile of their products, while maintaining the same high-performance results they’ve come to expect from Dow.”