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A Clean Win

BASF: Your Partner in Sustainable Footwear 

As an innovator, you know that using high-performance materials in your footwear is a must if you want to beat the competition. But you also realize that in the sustainability race, the stakes are even higher: If you don’t win, the entire planet loses.

Designing shoes made from recycled materials doesn’t have to break your stride in terms of quality, budget or speed of production.

With our long history of producing state-of-the-art materials that are cost-effective, high-performing, and easy to procure and implement, BASF is your partner in the sustainability race.

Whether you’re manufacturing recycled running shoes, eco-friendly casual shoes, safety shoes, or ski boots, you’re on solid ground when you join our global team of innovators to incorporate BASF’s high-performance, biomass materials into your design.

First CO2 neutral safety shoe line co-created by U-Power and BASF

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U-Power – a leading safety shoe and workwear brand – has created their first line of CO2 neutral certified safety shoes made with BASF's biomass balance products. Like many companies these days, U-Power noted that the production of safety shoes made from recycled materials does not have to be at the expense of quality, budget or production speed. We are proud to be part of the environment friendly solution of the Italian company. U-Power is therefore working with BASF-certified REDcert2 products for both the outsole and the insole of the safety shoe. By using our biomass balance products for the soles, fossil fuels are replaced by 100% renewable raw materials in the production chain for U-Power's safety shoe. The result is a measurable reduction in the company's CO2 emissions. A clean win not only for the benefit of our environment, but also for U-Power itself, as they are now at the forefront of increasingly environment friendly solutions. The other shoe components, such as the uppers and laces, are also made primarily from environmentally friendly or recycled materials. To offset the carbon footprint entirely, U-Power purchases emissions certificates.

Soles with Soul: Anatomy of Shoes Made with Recycled Materials

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What is sustainable footwear?

When your buyers think of sustainable footwear, they may think of shoes made with recycled materials. At BASF, we can help you go beyond biobased and recycled to ensure you are creating a truly eco-friendly product.

Mud race runners

We offer several TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer) and PU (polyurethane elastomer) materials and fibers that are:

  • Free of solvents and heavy metals
  • High performing with enhanced functionality, allowing you to use it across a broad range of applications
  • Low emission-producing
  • Versatile, giving innovators more design freedom
Female athlete with medal sitting on racetrack with team standing in background. Sportswoman looking away while sitting on athletics race track in stadium with her teammates in background.

Even your most informed customers will be delighted to know that our Freeflex PU fibers can be made out of 100% recycled materials.


The race is on, and together we can win it!

Reduce-Recycle-Rethink: Our Approach

There are many paths to choose from when starting or enhancing your sustainability journey. Whether your goal is to incorporate renewable or recycled resources, reduce CO2 or eliminate waste from your production cycle, our portfolio of sustainable solutions can turn your ideas into reality.



For a truly clean win, we must work towards creating a fossil-free future through a circular economy that phases out substances that would render the products unrecyclable in the future.

  • Decrease the use of fossil materials with the goal of fossil-free production
  • Phase out solvents and transition to alternatives that support true sustainability
  • Reduce energy and emissions through methods such as cold curing and eco-friendly blowing agents


Develop creative ways to recycle and reuse materials, such as closing the nutrient loop through converting agricultural and other industrial waste into feedstock for biopolymers, which are biodegradable.

Mechanical Recycling: The traditional form of recycling, this is appropriate for many of our projects, such as footwear made with TPU and shoes made from a single material. It is not the best option for recycling multiple materials at once, which is where ChemCycling takes the baton.

ChemCycling®: From Trash to Treasure

Our cutting-edge technologies, such as our ChemCyling™ project, accelerate the transition to a circular economy by:

  • Recycling products that cannot easily be recycled through the traditional mechanical recycling processes, such as mixed plastics
  • Turning plastic waste into a secondary raw material that saves fossil resources and enables the creation of products that can then be recycled mechanically

Both forms of recycling complement each other, thereby maximizing your sustainability efforts.



At BASF, we’re constantly searching for and implementing more efficient, energy-saving processes and creating more durable materials with partners like you. From producing shoes made of a single material to cold curing using reusable PP/PET tools, we’re always on the move.

Biomass Balance: The Solution for Renewable Raw Materials

  • No reformulation required
  • Quick and easy availability of products due to global reach
  • Saves fossil resources and reduces CO2 emissions
  • Drives the use of sustainable renewables
  • Independent, industry-recognized certifications: REDcert-EU and ISCC-EU 

Customer Story: High-Performance, Low-Impact Casual Shoes          

As leaders in sustainable manufacturing with a global reach, BASF has had the opportunity to partner with a variety of companies in creative ways:

Our partnership with the Italian company U Power resulted in a line of worksite-certified safety shoes made with PU materials.

We partnered with a Spanish-based supplier of shoe components to meet their customers’ demands for high-quality, bio-based shoes made, in part, from castor oil.

BASF also helped a global footwear and athletic wear company take a leap towards their vision of ending plastic waste through:
  • Decoupling CO2 emissions from organic growth through our carbon management program Reducing their chemical footprint through our ChemCycling™ project
  • Incorporating renewable-based materials, such as solvent-free synthetic leather
  • Using a bio mass approach that is adapted for green electricity and saves fossil resources while maintaining identical product performance
Solutions for sustainable engineering plastic and sustainable products to design a circular economy

The Race to End Waste: BASF’s Commitment to Sustainability

BASF aims to process 250,000 metric tons of recycled and waste-based raw materials annually by 2025, replacing fossil raw materials. By the year 2030, the company aims to double its sales generated with solutions for the circular economy to €17 billion

Dr. Martin Brudermüller

Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and Chief Technology Officer of BASF

dirty athlete runner running puddles with mud splashing water

BASF: Your global partner in sustainability

A leader in green manufacturing with locations around the globe, our partners in the sustainable footwear industry trust BASF to help them create products that are truly eco-friendly while maintaining a high level of performance. We’ve worked with some of the top brands in athletic wear and shoes as well as respected manufacturers of casual footwear. Whether you’re creating running shoes made out of recycled materials or casual footwear made with TPU, your products will leave positive impressions, not carbon footprints.

Worker ware safety belts in fuel tank The power plant site close up equipment safety concept,Worker high building outdoors sprinkle with rope safety sure, wear equipment protective on sunset.

Step into Sustainability with BASF Footwear Solutions

Join innovators around the world in the race to create high-performing shoes made from recycled materials and reduce waste, enabling them to leave a legacy rather than a carbon footprint.

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