We never stop taking inspiration from natural surroundings. On was born in the Swiss Alps in the stunning Engadine Valley, a region stretching 130 km across Southern Switzerland with peaks reaching well above 3000m into the clouds. We explore forests rich in plant- and wildlife, adventure along ridge lines at high altitudes, and run endless trails weaving through these breathtaking landscapes. You have to see it to believe it.
But these natural spaces are under threat. Not just in our backyard, but globally. The environment is paying the price of the pollution, rising global temperatures and waste that we as consumers and businesses are responsible for. The apparel and footwear industry plays a vital role in rewriting the future. We’re optimistic we can reduce our footprint, and we have a strategy to match.
When we try to do everything, it’s easy to end up doing – well, nothing…so we have to pick our battles. Our research has shown that material production is responsible for approximately 80% of our environmental footprint. That’s why improving our material usage is one of the main pillars of On’s sustainability strategy.
The Cloudrock Edge Raw is one of our first products that’s born from the design brief; sustainable. When we sat at the drawing board for this hiking boot, we knew focusing on materials was the best approach. We chose to use the highest content of recycled materials possible and decided to go dye- and bleach-free.
“We used the original Cloudrock hiking boot as the blueprints for the design, and then re-engineered it to feature a higher content of recyclable materials” says Oliver Whitworth, Footwear Developer at On. “It was a challenging task since many suppliers are not accustomed to working with undyed and fully recycled materials. But our team conducted thorough research right to the source to ensure the materials were truly undyed and recycled. We got there in the end and we’re really happy with the result.”
We’re already engineering our entire range with more recycled alternatives. Our apparel and gear needs to meet strict performance standards so we use the highest quality recycled materials possible. The result of our product testing has confirmed our belief – sustainability and performance go hand-in-hand. The Cloudrock Edge Raw is no different. From rebound rates to waterproofing, this hiking boot checked the boxes one-to-one.
“We’re now able to use the Cloudrock Edge Raw to influence our ongoing designs for our footwear. It’s really set a new standard for how we design going forward.” Oliver continues.
Fewer virgin materials. Nothing but performance.
Creating fabrics “from scratch” means using virgin resources derived from fossil fuels. This consumes considerable energy and produces CO2 which can explain why material production accounts for a high percentage of the environmental footprint of our products. When we’re able to use a higher content of recycled alternatives, we use fewer virgin materials and are able to protect Earth’s finite resources.
The upper of the Cloudrock Edge Raw features more than 80% total recycled Polyester. The ripstop vamp covering the forefoot alone is engineered from 100% recycled polyester (rPES). It’s durable but breathable. Light but tough enough for long adventures.
Our next task was removing color. Waste water from textile dye plants escape into natural habitats resulting in some nasty effects on the environment. The Cloudrock Edge Raw fabrics are 100% dye- and bleach-free. No colors. No unnecessary chemicals.
“Many times, our suppliers tried to reject the shoe during quality control citing that the natural qualities meant each shoe had slight differences. But that was our point of the project. It took some convincing that we really wanted it that way.” says Oliver. “The natural characteristics of the boot are what makes it so unique. The subtle differences in color make it look very cool!”
Different light and weather conditions mean it’s possible that the color will change slightly over time. But that’s what we think makes the result so special. No two shoes are the same – just like your adventures.
Protection against the elements
When we’re venturing in the Swiss Alps, weather conditions can be unpredictable and change rapidly, so heading out prepared is key. The Cloudrock Edge Raw is wind- and waterproof and ready for any weather Mother Nature throws at you.
To know the true level of waterproofing a material provides, we measure using a water column rating. The European Standards for protective clothing consider 1,300 mm to be waterproof. The membrane protecting the Cloudrock Edge Raw has a water column of 10,000 mm, so that’s unparalleled protection you can rely on even in wild weather.
Plus, the membrane is 100% PTFE-free and made from 50% recycled material. PTFEs are often found in waterproofing materials – they’re hazardous to human health and the environment so you won’t find them in the Cloudrock Edge Raw, or any of our gear for that matter.
The Cloudrock Edge Raw is ready for any weather, and any trail.
Our patented Zero-Gravity CloudTec® technology is re-enforced with Missiongrip™️ featuring a 3D triangular detail for traction on both wet and dry surfaces. Additional studs at the centre forefoot add more stability and grip on softer terrain. Tried and tested in The Alps by the On team – the Cloudrock Edge Raw handles a steep scramble up a damp earthy mountainside just as well as it grips across an uneven rocky path.
A Speedboard® engineered from 30% recycled high-performance Polypropylen is uniquely adapted to the Cloudrock Edge Raw. Each time you stride forward, cloud elements compress to cushion your step and the Speedboard® gets to work turning your landing energy into forward motion for a smooth, powerful ride.