New Balance announced that it will expand its product assortment under the Company’s green leaf standard to now include certain footwear, focusing on high-volume models; specifically, select colorways from two of the brand’s largest footwear franchises, the 574 and Fresh Foam 1080v12. Polyester and leather are two of the highest volume materials of climate impact for New Balance and this initiative is designed to help support New Balance’s goal to source 50% recycled polyester and 100% preferred leather by 2025.
“Building our product in a more responsible way is a continuous journey,” said Cynthia Maletz, Director of Product Creation Platforms for New Balance. “We are continuing our green leaf efforts with styles from our highest-volume footwear models, placing our efforts where the impact will be the greatest.”
In the Spring 2022 collection, approximately 19% of New Balance’s footwear volume from new introductions, as well as more than 60% of inline apparel volume, will meet the brand’s green leaf standard, which focuses on accelerating systemic change and driving efficiency towards lessening New Balance’s material environmental impacts. Choosing to use environmentally preferred materials is one of the biggest and most immediate ways the brand can affect its environmental impact. New Balance
debuted its green leaf standard for apparel in 2020 and will continue to expand the offering, significantly increasing the number of products and product categories with environmentally preferred materials in the upcoming months and years.
New Balance’s Green Leaf Standard
New Balance’s green leaf standard indicates environmentally preferred material adoption across its footwear and apparel products. For apparel that meets New Balance’s green leaf standard, at least 50% of the materials in a garment are sourced as environmentally preferred. For footwear that meets New Balance’s green leaf standard, at least 50% of the materials in its upper are sourced as environmentally preferred, and at least one material in the midsole/outsole uses approximately 3% bio-based or 5% recycled content. New Balance considers a material environmentally preferred based on its physical characteristics (for example, recycled polyester) or based on its more sustainable sourcing practices (for example, leather sourced from LWG Gold rated tanneries).
Specific details of how each product meets the green leaf standard can be found on a garment’s care
label, footwear or garment hangtag, or the product listing on www.newbalance.com.
“New Balance is pleased to be highlighting environmentally preferred materials through the green leaf standard across footwear and apparel,” says Laura Wittman, New Balance VP of Responsible Leadership and Corporate Compliance. “It’s important for us to provide consumers with intuitive tools, like New
Balance’s green leaf standard, will help them choose products that align with their values, with the goal of creating systemic change and positive impacts within the fashion industry.”
For years, New Balance has been building a strong foundation of sustainability practices through its Responsible Leadership program and has outlined a set of bold actions and alliances targeting various aspects of climate change. From pursuing renewable energy across its supply chain to building out its portfolio of environmentally preferred materials, New Balance is continuously seeking change that creates both short-and long-term impact.
As part of its overarching Responsible Leadership strategy, New Balance is moving toward a lower-carbon future with a holistic set of goals between now and 2030:
- Renewable Energy: New Balance aims to use 100% renewable electricity across its global operations by 2025 and is setting new science-based reduction targets across all scopes of emissions as a signatory of the Business Ambition for 1.5ºC and the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.
- Longevity and circularity: New Balance aims to send zero waste to landfills from its footwear factories by 2025, and the brand conducted an apparel repair pilot in 2021 as part of its journey to address post-consumer waste and establish greater levels of circularity.
- Lower-carbon materials: Polyester and leather are two of the largest drivers of climate impact for New Balance. As a first step toward lowering those impacts, the brand will source 50% recycled polyester and 100% preferred leather by 2025.
- Advocacy and conservation: In coordination with 1% for the Planet, through June 2023 New Balance will donate 1% of MSRP from all Fresh Foam X Hierro v7, Fresh Foam X Hierro v7 GTX, and Fresh Foam X Hierro v7 mid sold in the U.S. to benefit organizations working on climate change and protecting public lands. For more info, please visit onepercentfortheplanet.org.
- Resilience: To support women’s empowerment and foster greater levels of community stability and resilience, New Balance is working toward 100% of women in their footwear factories to benefit from education and skills courses by 2025.
To learn more about New Balance’s commitment to sustainability and the brand’s Responsible Leadership efforts, visit newbalance.com.