Daily Insights

Sustainability Shoe-In

By: Mackenzie Baker | Oct 29, 2020

As sneaker sales reach new heights, Swiss shoe company On is helping sneakerheads get their shoe fix with its new subscription service. On is testing the service with its popular Cyclon running shoes, which will get replaced every six months with a subscription. Consumers can pay $30 a month for the service to receive a new pair of shoes, though the price could go down as the number of subscribers goes up. As the Cyclon shoes are designed for running, devoted runners may notice the shoes starting to wear after six months, making the replacement period fitting. Once the original pair is returned, it will be recycled into raw materials to make more shoes. The circular process could help On reduce waste and further build up its sustainability efforts. 

On designed its shoes with recycling in mind, so each pair features few pieces and 50% biodegradable materials. As 85% of On’s carbon footprint is the result of its shoe materials, increasing their recyclability and usage could curtail many costs and make the brand more environmentally friendly. With the Cyclon shoe’s cost-saving benefits and the reliability of its subscription service, On could account for an additional, steady revenue stream. The subscription service arrives at a prime time for On, as it recovers from lost brick and mortar sales during the Coronavirus pandemic. The sales decline of physical retail stores, however, could actually open On up to untapped potential in apparel subscriptions, particularly as consumers gravitate towards smaller, specialized brands while increasing demand for fresh, home delivered products, according to a Gartner report on the topic. On is not the first activewear brand to launch a subscription service, as Nike launched a children’s shoe subscription in 2019, but On could still pave the way as a leader in adult running shoe subscriptions.  

On’s shoe subscription keeps sustainability running through consumers’ minds. As the activewear industry shifts to reach consumers at home, On could inspire fellow brands to boost their eco-friendly efforts and test-run their own sustainable service.