It’s unsurprising why so many delivery companies use Tyvek for their envelopes: The material is lightweight, waterproof, recyclable, and near-indestructible. A few years ago, entrepreneur Steven Weinreb decided to harness the material’s cool properties, but for a completely different purpose—sneakers. Today, Weinreb’s a-ha moment is a full-fledged footwear label, one that does more than pump out stylish, recyclable kicks. With the motto “Conspire to inspire,” Civic Duty supports an American social cause each year by designing an exclusive shoe and donating 100 percent of its profits to the charity.
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Ranging from low-tops to high-tops to slip-ons, Civic Duty’s sneakers look a lot like Keds but with a unique, linen-like texture. You may never have seen Tyvek in any other color than white, but the polyethylene fibers can be dyed in a host of colors. “It is normal that over time, the color of the shoe will fade a bit, adding to the vintage look,” explains Civic Duty on its site. Civic Duty shoes use environmentally conscious glues and dyes, along with recycled packaging. And although we’d rather see them use recycled Tyvek to begin with, they’re also recyclable.
And although we’d rather see them use recycled Tyvek to begin with, the shoes are also recyclable.
This year’s shoe for a cause has yet to be revealed, but its beneficiary will be Common Ground Relief, a volunteer-run organization that organizes a diverse range of projects to benefit the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. In other words, a worthy cause, indeed.