Will runners subscribe to a 100 percent recyclable shoe rental plan?
The Swiss running shoe company, On, won’t let consumers buy its new Cyclon shoes when it launches them next year. Instead, the company has come up with a monthly rental plan whereby runners receive replacement pairs and return the previously worn ones so they can be recycled and turned into new sneakers.
To gain access to the shoes and the system that supports it, Cyclon renters put down a deposit of $29.99 and pay the same amount monthly for a minimum of six months. The concept is that runners in training will need a new pair twice a year. On sends its Cyclon sneakers to those in the program every six months. The goal is for runners to avoid wearing out the shoes and putting themselves at risk of injury.
There’s also the added bonus that the shoes have been designed to be 100 percent recyclable.
Cyclon subscribers will receive a new pair in the mail. To return the old pair, they simply place them in the same box that the new sneakers came in and send them back. On will then recycle the shoes to be made into speed boards and more pairs of Cyclon sneakers.
Runners interested in taking part in the Cyclon program can pre-register to take part when it officially launches in the fall of next year. The brand claims that the ultralight shoes (under seven ounces) are made to take the pounding that goes with intense training.
“Making a fully recyclable shoe is one thing. We went a step further. We wanted to show that sustainability and performance can go hand in hand,” said Olivier Bernhard, On co-founder and leader of the innovation team. “The outcome might be the most high-performance shoe we’ve ever engineered.”
Subscription services have helped businesses create ongoing revenue models during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Nearly 90 percent of those with subscription plans have posted flat or higher sales since its onset, according to a Zuora study.
- This is Cyclon. And this is the running shoe you will never own. – On
- Tech profile – The Cyclon Running Shoe (so far). – On
- On wants to rent, rather than sell, its recyclable sneakers – Engadget
- Are subscriptions a winning strategy to get through the pandemic? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will On find success with its Cyclon rental/recycle program? So you see further applications for this type of initiative in the rest of the footwear category?