OrthoLite, the maker of branded, high-performance, comfort footwear solutions, today unveiled Cirql (pronounced “circle”), a midsole foam that elevates sustainability in the footwear industry.

OrthoLite Cirql is billed as “the critical solution needed to achieve true circularity within the footwear industry” and is the first EVA plastics-free, recyclable, biodegradable and industrially compostable foam. Powered by plants, Cirql offers a pure foam alternative to conventional plastics and is made from responsibly-sourced plants and biodegradable materials.

The GMO-free, plant-based material utilized in Cirql is free from any “forever chemicals,” and is created through a zero-waste, chemical-free foaming process. The patented process ensures sustainability in a midsole that delivers on OrthoLite’s standards of performance, comfort, and sustainability.

“At OrthoLite, operating sustainably has been central to our DNA since our inception 25 years ago and Cirql represents our continued commitment to this effort and a natural extension of our mission and vision,” says Glenn Barrett, OrthoLite founder and CEO. “Worldwide footwear production has increased by over 20 percent since 2010 with no signs of slowing down. As an industry, the onus is on all of us to help mitigate our environmental impact on the planet. It’s going to take an industry wide commitment and a concerted effort, and Cirql is a major step in that direction.”

Containing no forever-chemicals or persistent microplastics, at the end of its useful life cycle, Cirql can be industrially composted, making it the first ever, soil-to-soil solution for footwear foam. Cirql effectively biodegrades back into nutrient-rich, soil compost. Additionally, Cirql foam is able to be depolymerized and recycled for reuse.

Cirql is being promoted as an alternative to conventional EVA plastics and provides footwear brands and their factory partners a more sustainable choice in materials and the ability to make a shift from what is currently utilized for midsoles. The technology is available to footwear brands that share a vision for the future of sustainable footwear. Applications run the spectrum from athletic to casual, fashion, work and kids’ footwear.