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  • Increasing the use of plant-based materials in footwear

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    A new bill is being introduced in Congress that would provide an incentive for footwear to be made from more plant-based materials from American farms, and less plastics.


    Bio-based materials cost more than traditional materials for footwear, hindering faster adoption. This new bill will provide the incentives needed, through reducing certain government taxes, so that American shoe companies accelerate investments in American farmers and new innovative bio-material companies. It will create jobs and ultimately benefit consumers with better shoes for their feet and our planet.


    Farm to footwear and back again

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    More and more shoes have bio-based content, coming from American farms, to make better shoes for consumers and the environment.

    However, transforming shoes to incorporate more plant-based materials is a challenge because it costs much more than traditional plastics, and government taxes are hindering investments.

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    To make bio-based materials for footwear, it requires U.S. farmers, scientists, and engineers working together to transform corn, beans, and other plants into compounds that can stand up to Americans walking and running.

    This requires heavy investments into farms, lab work, and facilities to make bio-innovations come to life, making better shoes, helping create jobs, and advancing American technological skills.

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    Government taxes on footwear – upwards of 60% on certain shoes – strip vital capital that farmers and footwear companies need to make better, more sustainable shoes.

    Any cost increases across the supply chain – from the farm to the final footwear product – impacts scale and innovation. Outdated footwear duties are now harming investments into farms, trucking, and engineering jobs across America to help us make better, more sustainable footwear.

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    The Farm to Footwear Act would support farmers, increase American jobs, power American scientific technology, and help bring more sustainable, more innovative, shoes to market that add more value to consumers.

    To qualify under this strict program, a shoe would need to contain 25% or more biobased materials by mass – currently a challenge for all shoes. The shoe would need to be certified by a USDA lab that it is ‘BioPrefered.’ Upon being added to the USDA program list, shoes can then get a duty benefit which provides a capital flow back to American farmers.

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