The iconic boot brand has teamed up with materials innovation company Gen Phoenix to transform leather offcuts, usually destined for landfill, into a new material now available in three shoe styles as part of a collection called Genix Nappa.

Adam Meek, Chief Product Officer at Dr Martens, reflects on the creation and launch of the Genix Nappa collection, stating, "It's been a fantastic experience to create and now launch this collection. Our teams have learnt an incredible amount during this process as we move towards creating a more sustainable future for our brand." Meek emphasizes the uniqueness of the material innovation and underscores the brand's commitment to maintaining the renowned durability of Dr. Martens throughout the development process.

The leather industry's environmental impact is profound; linked to the meat industry, it contributes to deforestation and water pollution due to the use of harmful chemicals. Additionally, significant physical waste is generated, with up to 60% of rawhide ending up as solid waste during processing.

Gen Phoenix CEO John Kennedy explains that most waste occurs during the "wet blue" stage, prompting the company to develop a process that deconstructs and re-entangles leather fibers, essentially recreating cowhide but in a more sustainable form.

Dr. Martens and Gen Phoenix's partnership, announced in May 2023 but in development for three years prior, reflects a commitment to innovation amid challenges like the pandemic. The new Genix Nappa collection offers three popular styles at traditional price points, with over 50% waste leather content and the remainder sourced from various textiles, including recycled materials.

Kennedy emphasizes a customer-centric approach, with a roadmap for increased recycled content and sustainability, allowing consumers to dictate the pace of change. Gen Phoenix is also exploring circularity by reengineering its own materials.

You can buy the collection here.

Previously collaborating with Coach, Gen Phoenix's partnership with Dr. Martens marks another step towards sustainability, aligning with the brand's goal to achieve net-zero emissions and 100% sustainable footwear by 2040. Alongside experimenting with new materials, Dr. Martens has introduced repair and resale programs, illustrating a holistic approach to sustainability in the fashion industry.

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