Since our launch in August 2018, finding ways to reduce our environmental impact has been a major focus. The challenge, however, was in finding the right partners that aligned with our goals and values. There are so many factors we consider when working with a new material supplier – not just the quality of their products, but how they operate as a business, logistics, manufacturing, quality, transparency… the list goes on and on.
There are a lot of companies out there that claim to have the next great innovation in sustainable materials, but in searching for the right partner, one name kept popping up: BLOOM™️. It’s been over a year since we first connected with BLOOM™️ to understand what they did, why their product was unique, and most importantly, how they were making tangible impacts on some of the pressing environmental problems the world faces today. At the time we weren’t sure where our conversations would lead, but it was clear from the beginning that BLOOM™️ was a company dedicated to creating a more sustainable future.
Fast forward to today and BLOOM™️ is now one of our core partners helping us reduce our impact on the planet. We’re still just getting started, but together we’re building a strong foundation of partners that are committed to helping us create better shoes with a smaller footprint.
Who is BLOOM™️?
BLOOM™️ represents an Environmental Movement created to help industries clean water and air by utilizing the power of algae.
Where was BLOOM™️ started?
BLOOM™️ was created out of our parent company, Algix, headquartered in Meridian, Mississippi.
In a nutshell, what does BLOOM™️ do?
BLOOM™️ inspires our Brand partners in the footwear and fashion industry to tread lightly on our planet by using our algae technologies to achieve their sustainability goals. By doing this, we also support our partners in connecting their consumers to our joint mission for a better tomorrow.
“BLOOM™️ inspires our Brand partners in the footwear and fashion industry to tread lightly on our planet by using our algae technologies to achieve their sustainability goals. By doing this, we also support our partners in connecting their consumers to our joint mission for a better tomorrow.”
How is the algae harvested?
Algae is mechanically separated using air bubbles and physically compressed to squeeze out water. The algae is then dried using heat and milled into a powder for processing into BLOOM™️ polymer compounds.
Where are your algae harvesting facilities located?
BLOOM™️ does not have its own harvesting facilities, but rather strategic partners mostly located in the USA and China. As we grow our supply chain, our mission is to co-locate algae harvesting with factories, water treatment plants, power plants and agricultural operations in order to intercept pollution prior to its release into the environment.
How is the algae turned into a material that can be used in the footwear industry?
Algae has natural thermoplastic qualities that can be expressed through our BLOOM™️ process. We transform the algae into a thermoplastic by co-extruding the algae particles with a polymer resin. The end result is a thermoplastic material that contains approximately 50% algae and 50% base polymer. Currently, for footwear, we produce Rise (an EVA based material for flexible foams) and Stride (a TPR based material for outsoles).
“Our goal is to inspire industry to re-think how we view and manage our air and water pollution.”
What is the impact to the environment and local community around your algae harvesting facilities?
In a healthy eco-system, the amount of algae is in perfect balance with other organisms including fish, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. However, in areas that have excessive water pollution, high levels of CO2, nitrates and phosphates lead to explosive algae growth that chokes out other life forms in the eco-system. By harvesting the algae, the biomass and excessive nutrients contained in the biomass are exported, restoring balance to the ecosystem.
What’s the next step for BLOOM™️?
BLOOM™️ is just getting started, but our next step is to help our Brand Partners scale the use of BLOOM™️ significantly to the point that we can see a lasting positive impact on our environment. We will continue to innovate more solutions to help consumers further reduce their footprint.
Our goal is to inspire the industry to rethink how we view and manage our air and water pollution. We want to create an economic engine around transforming the pollution released from society and incentivize industry to install circular systems to upcycle our waste back into products. BLOOM™️ technology represents one of the most fundamental circular technologies using sunlight to convert our lowest value and most ubiquitous waste streams into valuable and renewable materials that can displace the use of plastics and fossil-fuels in our global economy.
Photos by: BLOOM™️