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Northwave Tailwhip Eco Evo: hybrid technology and commitment to sustainability

An exclusive interview with Northwave's Product Manager reveals the secrets behind the eco-friendly shoe and hybrid technology

Northwave Tailwhip Eco Evo: hybrid technology and commitment to sustainability

Northwave’s philosophy is based on six core values: innovation, technology, design, passion, authenticity and sustainability. These values guide the company in its commitment to creating high-quality products that enhance the athlete experience.

Northwave’s vision is embodied by the motto “RIDE YOUR WAY“, which reflects the spirit of freedom and individuality of outdoor sports such as mountain biking.

Northwave | shoestechnologies
Sébastien Marcone
Photo credit: LinkedIn

In an exclusive interview with Northwave’s Product Manager, Sebastien Marcone, we find out the behind-the-scenes of the brand and, in particular, of the new Tailwhip Eco Evo shoe.

Through a journey into the world of innovation and sustainability, we explore how hybrid technology and the collaboration with Michelin are shaping the future of the outdoor sports footwear industry.

Northwave has left a significant mark in several cycling disciplines, from MTB victories with Gunn-Rita Dahle to triumphs in road cycling such as Mario Cipollini’s legendary victory at Milan-Sanremo. How has Northwave’s approach to innovation and product development adapted to the unique needs of different disciplines, and what role have these adaptations played in establishing Northwave as a leader in the cycling sports spectrum?

For Northwave, being a protagonist from the beginning of the global footwear district of Montebelluna has always been an important resource to make the best of the latest technical trends, processes and unique human skills that this territory can offer.

The company’s desire has always been to have a strong in-house R&D team capable of developing technical products from brief to series production. We are closely tied to the needs of the end user, having a direct link with the internal sales and marketing teams that support us in creating the best functional offer for our customers. In this way, we are very flexible in adapting developments, thinking of new ideas and finding solutions in a short period of time, taking into account the needs of the market.

Many members of the team are cyclists or bike-packers and all of us are true lovers of sports and the mountains. This brings a lot of passion, ideas and freshness to the final collection.

Last but not least, our international athletes have been helping us periodically with their feedback. Their critical and precise approach has led us to provide the right user benefits and functionality to the individual product categories (Road / XC / All-mountain).

Speaking of sustainability, Northwave declared its commitment to the environment, focusing on partnering with ACBC, a leading provider of sustainability services for the fashion and textile industries. Can you tell us about how this collaboration came about?

Northwave wanted to rely on a partner with relevant experience in this field.

The choice of ACBC corresponded to our expectations and goals. Collaborate on both sides of supply, from materials to production, to ensure that product certification and validation are fast and complete.

The result led us to present this innovation at Eurobike 2022 with a significant and positive impact on all our distributors and customers.

Focusing specifically on the Tailwhip Eco Evo shoe, Northwave’s collaboration with Michelin brings attention to the intersection of technology and performance. Can you provide us with insight into the design philosophy of the Tailwhip EcoEvo and how the incorporation of Michelin soles contributes to its unique characteristics? Also, what environmental considerations were taken into account in the development of this particular model?

Northwave and Michelin have established a strong technical collaboration in recent years. In this way, both brands were able to combine their experiences to provide the correct technical offer to end users.

We have mainly focused on the off-road segment, where the lower part of the sole requires specific technologies to be applied to the ground/pedal. The Tailwhip sole has been developed to respond to gravity/BMX users with a flexible and soft sole that offers good grip on the pedal.

Due to its technical use (but not only) this product was perfect for approaching a first sustainable offer to the market. Michelin supports us by providing a special recycled rubber, while we have completely changed all the materials, but not the look, of the upper to make it eco-friendly.

This first step is just the beginning of a desire of the company to extend sustainability to other products and to make it part of our way of thinking and developing every new product.

Speaking of this shoe in particular, it is essential to mention the technology used: hybrid.

But what does hybrid technology mean?

It is an innovative example of what we call a sustainable approach.

Northwave | shoestechnologies
Photo credit: northwave website

Essentially, hybrid is a method of reintegrating waste from production into the production cycle. The trimming of rubber soles, usually considered waste material destined for disposal or incineration, is one of the examples. Waste also includes incorrect samples or defective productions.

These waste materials are shredded and then transformed into a new raw material called hybrid, through a vulcanization process.

What is the vulcanization process?

Vulcanization is a process of treating rubber, in which it is chemically bound to sulfur by heating. The result is an elastic and resistant material that is not very sensitive to organic solvents.

The name hybrid comes from the combination of a traditional raw material and one from recycling. This new material is offered in different colors, since it comes from waste materials with various shades.

The goal of the Northwave Tailwhip Eco Evo shoe is to create a product that combines sports inspiration with a strong sustainable footprint.

Northwave, through its constant commitment to innovation, technology and now sustainability, has established itself as a benchmark in the industry.

The company remains committed to creating high-quality products that enhance the athlete experience, while striving to reduce environmental impact through the adoption of sustainable practices, such as hybrid technology.

With a vision oriented towards sustainability and continuous innovation, Northwave is preparing to face future challenges and meet the ever-increasing needs of athletes and adventure lovers!

Northwave Tailwhip Eco Evo: hybrid technology and commitment to sustainability

Northwave Tailwhip Eco Evo: hybrid technology and commitment to sustainability

An exclusive interview with Northwave’s Product Manager reveals the secrets behind the eco-friendly shoe and hybrid technology

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