When we were designing and sourcing our materials for Fulton, we knew from the start that we wanted to take a sustainable route. We needed to feel good about what we were putting in people’s shoes and out in the world. We were especially motivated by the status quo in the footwear industry, where the vast majority of affordable insoles are made with gels, petroleum-based foams, and other synthetic materials.
We quickly learned that the footwear industry accounts for 1.4% of global carbon emissions. For context, the entire aviation industry accounts for 2% of global carbon emissions. The plastics and foams used to make our shoes are almost as damaging to our planet as the emissions created from operating tens of thousands of flights across the globe each day—most footwear is shockingly unsustainable! There was no question we had to do much better with our materials and manufacturing processes.
After doing some digging, natural cork seemed like, well, the natural choice. Anyone who’s held a wine cork in their hand knows that cork is bouncy yet sturdy, making it an ideal base for something that needs to be comfortable and supportive, like an insole. Cork is also highly durable, so we could be sure our dependable arch support would last the lifetime of people’s well-loved and well-worn shoes. But perhaps most importantly, we discovered that cork is both good for the feet and good for the planet.