Executive Briefing

Would you subscribe to these shoes?

The “end of ownership” is coming for your running gear.

On Cyclon shoe
Courtesy On

On, the fast-growing running gear company based in Switzerland, has a new, lightweight shoe coming out next year, called the Cyclon

Unlike its previous shoes, the company says Cyclon is 100% recyclable, made largely with a bio-polymer derived from castor beans. Also unlike its previous shoes, you won’t be able to buy Cyclon — you can only subscribe to them as a $30 monthly service.

The idea is that every six months or so, when it’s time to get a new pair — runners are expected to replace their shoes every few hundred miles for performance, safety, and comfort — you’ll request a new set and mail your used ones back to On. They’ll then recycle them. And because it’s a service, you’ll just keep paying the same subscription fee.

Will this work? Is this simply how people will get shoes and gear in the future? And might this become an important model for more of the apparel business?

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

I’m a longtime tech and business journalist, and I’m excited to focus my attention on how technology continues to profoundly change how things are created, experienced, bought, and sold. The New Consumer is supported entirely by your membership — join now to receive my reporting, analysis, and commentary directly in your inbox, via my twice-weekly, member-exclusive newsletter. Thanks in advance.

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