This company and shoe are dope! I did not hesitate to rate all sections 3 planets – a full mark - because it is 100% recyclable and its revolutionary subscription scheme.
“On” set out in 2010 in Zürich, Switzerland with a big ambition: to change the world of running. This idea was from two former professional athlete Oliver Bernhard and his friends David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti. They wanted to find a running shoe that would give them the perfect running sensation. In the ten years since, On has been embraced into the hearts, and onto the feet, of more than seven million runners in over 50 countries. And there's no sign of slowing down.
I learned about On because Roger Federer, one of the most successful and famous tennis players, has joined On as a team member to seek to help On shape the future of sports.
I am shocked by the effort that On has put in delivering more sustainable goods to its consumers. I could not contain my excitement while browsing through its well-designed website and witnessing how clear and transparent most of the information is regarding its sustainability practice. And there is no sign of slowing down.
This review focuses on its brand-new 100% recyclable Cyclon running shoe, which will be launched in fall 2021.
The Cyclon shoes are made more beans. Yes, castor beans.
The Cyclon running shoe is engineered from just two materials, both of which come from the same family, which makes the shoe completely recyclable- without having to split up the shoe into different sections. The upper material is derived from castor beans and it is made from a single cut of yarn, resulting in zero waste.
Also, as you can see from the picture above, there is no dye nor bleaches and therefore no harmful colouring process (similar to the idea of Wilson’s “Naked Series” which I have reviewed – link attached in the reference).
The 100% recyclable materials enable On to introduce the revolutionary Cyclon subscription service work where consumers will never own the shoes, but they can return the shoes and get a new pair once they are subscribed to the scheme. I will discuss this subscription framework in detail in the following section.
I rate this section 3 planets because the shoes are made from 100% recyclable materials and also the subscription scheme.
On has implemented the mindset of “circular thinking”.
They have turned the typical linear lifecycle of a product in to a continuous loop. Linear lifecycle is that you dump your shoes as trash and they end up as waste. However, On will take your used Cyclon shoes back and recycle 100% of the materials. As a result, each loop means another pair of shoes and On does not need to make another pair from scratch but from landfill.
As a consumer, when you think the shoes can no longer be used, you just need to return your Cyclon shoes to the store or place where you bought them. Then, On will break down them and turn into raw materials for new products.
There is no reason for me not to rate this section 3 planets. I think On’s circular model and the idea of full recyclability are revolutionary in the industry.
I have briefly introduced On in the introduction part. In this section, I will discuss more in detail why I will rate this company 3 planets.
On appeals to me because it is data-driven. On’s website clearly stated that they are data-driven when answering the question of how sustainable they are. To measure the environmental footprint of the Cyclon running shoe, they have conducted a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to compare the shoe to the average On shoes. Since the shoe has not launched yet, the model has provided some approximate results/data: (1) from production to first recycling, the Cyclon running shoe produces 50% less carbon dioxide; (2) with Cyclon, On may reduce energy consumption of its factories by 70% compare to those of other shoes; (3) the Cyclon running shoe produces 90% less waste in total, and zero waste once it is in consumers’ hands.
On also attracts me because they present the data in a really cautious and professional way. Since Cyclon has not launched officially yet, On’s website keeps telling the audience that, “the data presented are accurate to data BUT we are still making final tweaks and minor changes to get Cyclon ready for launch. So these statistics might change slightly – but we will keep you in the loop.” On adopts transparency, which contributes to the high 3 planet rating.
None of the sporting goods companies I have reviewed so far, including Wilson, HEAD, YONEX (please check out those reviews from my Voiz page – link attached in the reference), have presented these many statistics in such a cautious and responsible way. On is not bragging, but they are being really responsible at what they are saying and presenting to the consumers.
I am rating On at 3 planets without any hesitation.