In step with the circular economy

How On - the Swiss pioneer for running shoes - takes sustainability to the next level with its newest shoe: Cyclon

We built Cyclon to be a sustainable solution in every sense - from an environmental perspective, as a business opportunity and for the benefit of our runners. In engineering our sustainable product technology, we haven’t sacrificed performance, we have enhanced it.

Viviane Gut, Head of Sustainability at On AG 

Circularity is not yet a concept generally associated with the footwear industry where the traditional product lifecycle still dominates. Shoes are designed to be disposed of at the end of their ‘useful life’, which creates waste. While initial steps towards circularity are being made in the industry through the use of recycled materials, and more sustainable sourcing and production processes, there is still something missing to make the lifecycle truly circular. What happens to the product after it’s sold to the customer?

Thinking about sustainability holistically and the circularity of a product lifecycle necessitates that brands and manufacturers consider post-sale behaviour. How can a producer ensure that consumers dispose of products sustainably? How can the sportswear industry succeed in providing circular products?

The Swiss shoe company, On, has a solution. Using a subscription-based model, customers rent their Cyclon shoe, return the pair at the end of their useful life and receive a new pair. The old shoes are completely recycled into new shoes thereby making this innovative product a completely recyclable and circular product. 

Viviane Gut, Head of Sustainability at On, explains to Deloitte how this idea came about, what On’s intentions are and how they hope to redefine the footwear industry through this product launch.

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