Hellmann's Recycled Sneakers Highlight Food Waste

Unilever brand Hellmann's launches a limited-edition training shoe made of common food items, to highlight vast yearly food-waste generated by Canadians

Mayonnaise brand Hellmann's has launched a limited-edition training shoe made of common food waste items, such as corn, mushrooms, apples, and grapes.

Hellmann's Canada – in collaboration with Italian sustainable fashion brand ID.Eight – has introduced ‘1352: Refreshed Sneakers’. 

The move is designed to challenge Canadians to rethink food consumption. The name of the trainer is a reference to monetary value in Canadian dollars – $1,352 – that the average Canadian household wastes in food each year.

Harsh Pant, Senior Brand Manager for Hellmann's Canada, says: "Hellmann's has a longstanding history of taking the necessary steps to address, raise awareness, and reduce food waste.”

He went on to say that the company hopes the food-waste trainers “will spark conversation and challenge consumers to take small steps to reducing the amount of food that's wasted each year".

Hellmann's is just one of many famous household brands owned by Unilever, one of the world's leading personal-care and food companies. Its products are used by an estimated 3.4 billion people every day. 

It employs 127,000 people, and in 2022 generated sales of €60bn (US$64bn). Over half of its footprint is in developing and emerging markets. It has around 400 household brands, including Knorr, Magnum and Ben & Jerry's.

Unilever looking to be global sustainability leader 

The company says its vision is “to be the global leader in sustainable business and to demonstrate how our purpose-led, future-fit business model drives superior performance”. 

In 2023 Unilever announced two of its factories – in Tianjin, China and Indaiatuba, Brazil –  had been recognised by the World Economic Forum as ‘Advanced Fourth Industrial Revolution Lighthouses’. This means the company now has six Lighthouse sites across its business, including ones in China, Dubai and India.

In a recent interview with sister publication, Supply Chain Digital, Unilever Chief Supply Chain Officer Reginaldo Ecclissato discussed the importance of sustainability to the company. 

He said: “Reaching 100% zero waste-to-landfill on all waste streams at our North America distribution centres is a great example of how we are putting our sustainability strategy into action, and reducing our environmental footprint to strengthen our business, as well as our commitment to partnership and collaboration.

“But it is far from the end. We will continue to challenge ourselves and our partners in our mission for sustainable growth.”

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