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Swiss sports brand On presents the first shoe made from carbon emissions, called Cloudprime. This is a significant moment in On’s journey to move away from petroleum-based resources by creating a new foam material called CleanCloud™, made using carbon emissions as a raw material. On is the first company in the footwear industry to explore carbon emissions as a primary raw material for a shoe’s midsole, specifically EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam, that could also be used in other shoe parts and products in the future.

Main Facts

  • On is revealing the first ever shoe made from carbon emissions, called Cloudprime.
  • Cloudprime is made from CleanCloud™ EVA foam that uses carbon emissions as a raw material.
  • On is the first company in the footwear industry to explore using carbon emissions as a primary raw material for a shoe’s midsole.
  • On is moving away from using fossil feedstock and exploring alternative materials for producing high-performance sports products.
  • On is partnering with LanzaTech, Borealis, and Technip Energies, three of the most innovative companies in biochemicals, process, and material innovation.

On’s ambitions are high: The sports brand born in the Swiss Alps envisions a future where every On product is fossil-free and fully circular. CleanCloud™ is the result of five years of dedicated work, which began with finding the best possible partners. This collaborative approach is key to overcoming the challenges of developing this complex technology at a commercial scale.

CleanCloud™ is the result of a pioneering supply chain partnership with some of the most innovative companies in biochemicals, process, and material innovation, including LanzaTech, Borealis, and Technip Energies. LanzaTech is using a combination of cutting-edge genetic engineering, state-of-the-art biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and innovations in mechanical and chemical engineering to manufacture chemicals using a process that soaks up waste carbon rather than emitting it.

Technip Energies is a leading engineering and technology company for the energy transition and in this consortium in charge of the process of dehydrating ethanol to the gas ethylene, which is a monomer and the most important building block of widely used plastics.

Borealis is a leading provider of advanced, circular and renewable plastic solutions and essential in creating high-performance, easy-to-process EVA foam for CleanCloud™. This collaboration clearly underlines Borealis’commitment to a net zero future and fully aligns with its EverMinds™ ambition of accelerating circularity through partnerships.

This is how it works: Technology from LanzaTech captures carbon monoxide emitted from industrial sources like steel mills before being released into the atmosphere. Once captured, these emissions enter a patented fermentation process. Thanks to specially selected and naturally occuring bacteria, the carbon-rich gas ferments naturally and is converted to ethanol. This natural fermentation process is similar to that of conventional alcohol production – e.g., beer brewing. The ethanol is then dehydrated to create ethylene by Technip Energies, which is then polymerized by Borealis to become EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) in a form of solid small plastic pellets – the versatile and lightweight material that On starts working with to create a performance foam for shoes.

Driven by the same spirit of sustainable innovation, On is collaborating with circular start-up Novoloop on the CleanCloud™ outsole, by utilizing the world’s first chemically upcycled TPU from post-consumer plastic waste. The outsole was put under rigorous lab and athlete testing, meeting specifications comparable to fossil-derived TPUs with a significant carbon footprint reduction. For the upper, On is collaborating with the young French start-up Fairbrics to create a polyester-based textile made from carbon emissions.

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