Sustainability Matters: Stride Rite Expands Eco-Friendly Kids’ Footwear Offering + More News

FN highlights the latest sustainable initiatives this year, including product launches, material innovations and corporate strategies. Send your news to

Feb. 7, 2023: Children’s brand Stride Rite, a division of Wolverine Worldwide, has unveiled two new eco-conscious kids’ sneakers as part of its Stride Forward collection. The new styles include the Sprout for first walkers and the Fern for toddlers. Both retail for $50 and feature an upper made of chrome-free suede and twill composed of 30% seaweed fiber and 70% organic cotton, and their slip-resistant outsoles contain 10% recycled rubber. The Stride Forward collection launched last year with the Stride Rite 360 Aseel sneaker, which uses materials from recycled plastic bottles. To date, 43,764 bottles have been recycled through production. The new Sprout and Fern are available now at and select independently owned Stride Rite retail stores.


Jan. 18, 2023: Sock maker Renfro Brands has selected TrusTrace as the partner to support its traceability efforts. TrusTrace CEO and co-founder Shameek Ghosh said in a statement, “Using the TrusTrace platform, Renfro Brands will be able to centralize its current supply chain data for continued compliance with laws such as the UFLPA, as well as measure and document progress towards its sustainability goals.” Renfro has already made progress in its environmental mission. All of its suppliers have achieved at least one sustainable certification, including OEKO-TEX, GRS and ISO, and 30% of its packaging components are recyclable or reusable — with the goal of reaching 100% by 2030. Renfro also aims to use sustainable yarns and materials in 100% of the products it produces by 2030.

Jan. 17, 2023: As part of its ongoing sustainability initiative, J.Crew announced it has launched two new endeavors. First, the retailer is partnering with ThredUp to launch a 360-resale program designed to keep product out of landfills and encourage circular wardrobes. Customers can now buy and resell gently-worn J.Crew women’s and kids’ items online at and receive J.Crew shopping credit for items sold. Additionally, the company is launching J.Crew Vintage, a curated selection of some of its best womenswear looks that will be sold in its Fifth Avenue store in New York. Featured looks include the 1990s cotton sweater vest, 1980s cropped jean jacket, 1990s denim skirt and more.

Jan. 9, 2023: Rack Room Shoes has launched a new initiative with recycling partner Sneaker Impact. Customers can now donate gently worn sneakers by placing them in a collection box at any Rack Room Shoes location to reduce waste across the company’s footprint, which spans more than 500 communities and 36 states. Sneaker Impact will collect and upcycle the donated shoes throughout the year and ship them to developing countries around the globe, providing footwear to people in need while creating jobs in the marketplace. Sneaker Impact will also donate $1 for every pair of footwear collected to Shoes That Fit, a nonprofit organization that has a longstanding partnership with Rack Room.

Rack Room Shoes

Rack Room Shoes partnered with Sneaker Impact to recycle used shoes.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Rack Room Shoes

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