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Podcast: This sustainable sneaker company is coming for the industry giants

Bamboo. Sugarcane. Cork. These are not what we’d think of as traditional ingredients for sneakers, but they’re some of the core raw materials that Brazilian shoe brand Cariuma uses for its environmentally sustainable footwear. According to figures generated by an independent, third-party consultant, its new Ibi slip-on sneaker is the lowest-carbon-footprint sneaker ever.

[Photo: Cariuma]

On this week’s episode of World Changing Ideas, I speak to Cariuma’s cofounders, David Python and Fernando Porto, who talk about the sneaker-making process, where the sustainable materials come from, and why they’re unabashedly ready to “steal market share from the big guys.”

Cariuma’s signature shoe, the Ibi, was a finalist in the World Changing Ideas Consumer Products category in 2020; this year, it released a slip-on version of the shoe, which has a carbon footprint of 5.48 grams, according to an independent group commissioned by Cariuma to conduct a study. Where bio-based ingredients…

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