SK chemicals, Dongsung Chemical, and Black Yak join hands to commercialize sustainable footwear

SK chemicals, Dongsung Chemical, and Black Yak join hands to commercialize sustainable footwear

Revolutionizes cushioning with high-elasticity biomass-based materials

  • By ICN Bureau | April 22, 2024

SK chemicals, Dongsung Chemical and BYN Black Yak announced that they've developed sustainable footwear materials using the naturally-derived material "Ecotrion” and applied them to Black Yak's Trekking Shoes 343 MAX.

The three companies introduced this product after a year of collaboration. SK chemicals is the supplier of 100% bio-based polyol ‘Ecotrion’, while Dongsung Chemical develops the bio-polyurethane resin ‘Neopan’ for footwear using this as a raw material. Utilizing this material, Black Yak produced the ‘Foot Pillow Cushioning Foam,’ which is applied to the heel support layer of the midsole to minimize loading on the ankle and knee joints.

The midsole of trekking shoes is a key component that determines the footwear's weight and acts like a car's suspension to provide the level of function. Cushioning is important because the midsole must absorb the impact on the body and ensure safe strides, even on rough terrain.

Dongsung Chemical's bio-polyurethane resin ‘Neopan’ for footwear maintains the high elasticity and flexibility of existing polyurethane resins while using bio-based raw materials, providing the shock absorption function of the "Foot Pillow Cushioning Foam."

Ha Sung-chan, Head of the Planning Business Division at Black Yak, said, "'343 MAX,' the first commercialized product applying bio-based materials, is attracting consumer attention as a product that offers both sustainability and high functionality, not only in terms of environmental significance but also in its effective shock absorption cushioning. We will continue to lead sustainable fashion by expanding our own eco-friendly technology development as well as collaborating with various partners."

SK chemicals and Dongsung Chemical plan to gradually expand the bio-material market in the sports and fashion fields through active collaboration with major domestic and international brands.

Kim Eung-soo, Head of SK chemicals' Green Materials Business Division, stated, "Bio-materials, along with recycled plastics, are one of the promising alternatives to replace petrochemical materials. We plan to actively highlight the sustainability and functionality of PO3G, focusing on big brands that are leading the sustainable trend with bio-materials."

Noh Jung-sik, Head of Dongsung Chemical's Polyurethane Business Division, said, "We are exploring collaboration opportunities with various footwear brands based on the environmental advantages and excellent properties of the bio-polyurethane resin 'NEOPAN' for footwear. With Dongsung Chemical's resin compounding and synthesis technology, we will provide solutions that meet customer needs by maximizing the different characteristics and functionality of each footwear."

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