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Posted: March 9, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: END Footwear Launches In Canada

Montreal, March 9th 2009 -- END (Environmentally Neutral Design), a new performance footwear company focused on sustainability, is delighted to announce its official launch in Canada with a complete collection of road running, trail running, and water shoes for men and women.

While the footwear industry, engaged since decades in a never-ending innovation arms race, keeps on telling athletes that they need more protection from the environment and themselves, wanting them to believe that more layers, more air, more gel, more components, means more tech and better runs, END Footwear proves now that less is more, lighter can be stronger and that crisp, consistent design beats the next big thing any day of the week.

Started in 2007 in Portland, OR, by award-winning footwear designer Andrew Estey, END uses design to reduce the amount of complex components, materials, glues, people and energy needed to build its products, as well as the quantity of waste produced, and follows the four R's (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Responsibility) as a guide to reduce its footprint. Better and smarter design allows END to produce high performance shoes that meet the needs of everyday athletes.

Some of END's notable achievements are:

*An END Running Platform is designed using only 3 pieces while other performance running shoes can pile on up to 12.

*END cut out plastic pieces that are commonly used in running shoes and that usually need a steel mold per piece, ending up cutting 20 tons worth of steel.

*END uppers are made from one layer reducing waste and weight.

*Each END outsole is made from 25% recycled rubber keeping durability dialed while decreasing impact.

*The collar and tongue of every END shoe are 25% bamboo infused

*Every END midsole is made from 10% recycled EVA (recycled and virgin pellets)

*END currently uses water based glues in 90% of the manufacturing process, drastically reducing harmful solvent based glues. END's goal is to offer one day 100% glue-less shoes.

*Only 62 hands crafted END footwear -- that's 50% reduction of human impact - by cutting out many of the complex components, which require minimal interaction and less workers behind automated machines.

*Currently END's manufacturing process yields only 1-5% waste as part of the shoe uses material from another process that is immediately reused.

Sustainability, Green, Eco-Friendly. These are all words that mean something different to many people. If we adhere to the classic definition of sustainability, then END is not there yet. Environmentally neutral design is the goal, and again END is not there yet. As highlighted in the November 2008 "Green Issue" of Runner's World, making footwear is hard work, creating sustainable running shoes is a tall task. END brings design, manufacturing and materials under the microscope to examine the steps required to get them on the path to becoming fully sustainable. It is because they follow these principles that END is different.

About END
Founded in 2007 in Portland, OR, by award-winning shoe designer Andrew Estey, END is an outside performance footwear company that has built a new culture around forward motion and doing more with less. END questions every component of design to minimize the environmental footprint of its products. As a catalyst for change in running footwear, END was profiled in the Runner's World November 2008 "Green Issue" as an industry leader for changing the way footwear is designed and manufactured. (www.ENDfootwear.com)


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