DFP’s iON Element: Superior Performance, Price Conscious, & Environmentally Progressive.
Shoes are an everyday item that everyone in the world owns, there are more than 20 billion pairs of shoes manufactured each year. However, often overlooked are the many environmental impacts of the shoe industry that need to be addressed. One of the largest environmental impacts of shoes come from the manufacturing stages of the shoe life cycle.
All of us in the shoe industry already understand these impacts, but not all companies are taking measures to help solve this global issue. Dynamic Foam Products has taken its position and made serious efforts to produce products that reduce our carbon footprint and eliminate waste. One of the steps we have taken is to make a product that is ‘green’, but does not compromise the desired performance and feel. Quite often, recycled materials have diminished performance characteristics. This is a result of a random combination of recycled materials being re-heated and re-molded, deforming the cell structure of the original compound; something that no amount of additives can restore.
Dynamic Foam Products has developed a process where we can control 100% of the performance of our recycled material. In fact we prefer to call it upcycled because we are giving the product a completely new and enhanced usage. We take the film, melt it down and pelletize it into the base material for the EVA. This gives us the same result as if we started with new polyolefin pellets.
Take our iON Element foam for example. Here we use a polyolefin (the base element in EVA) film which covers agricultural buildings as the base material for our foam. We do our own upcycling so we do not contaminate the polyolefin allowing us to work with a pure ingredient during our compounding. This is a key factor in the performance of our foam. In fact, the compression set for iON Element performs at the same level or better than the top foams in the industry.
Another important consideration is that because we are working with pure polyolefin we do not degrade the performance of the foam at all, in fact the performance is enhanced. This is contrary to many of the open cell breathable recycled foams on the market. Most of the recycled foams on the market have compromised performance (rebound, shock and compression set) as a result of contaminates in the foam during the recycling process. We have tested many of these foams and find traces of heavy metals, solvents and other recycled content.
Cost has always been an issue with recycled products because of the added cost of hauling, sorting, recycling, and reprocessing. The typical result is a partially recycled foam that is more environmentally friendly than others, but costs more too. In contrast, we are able to achieve an economy of scale due to our sustainable supply of polyolefin. This translates to a decrease in price with more recycled content added to the material. 100% recycled content in our material means getting the highest quality product at the lowest cost available.
As the consumer demand for a more sustainable and eco-minded product continues to increase, DFP is finding innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint and eliminate waste, setting an example for clean manufacturing in an otherwise dirty industry. And contrary to pop ular belief, going green does not mean compromising performance or cost. In this case, with our iON Element, you can have your cake and eat it too.