Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Aciae

Sustainable footprints: from ocean plastic to chic shoes

Fashion & Beauty

One company is turning single-use plastic waste from the ocean into thread for recyclable shoes

Spotted: The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP) brings together more than 400 member organisations to build a circular economy and replace single-use plastics. With time running out for us to make the necessary changes to our damaging reliance on plastics, advocates for change continue to emphasise the multi-faceted approach needed to build a solution. Organisations in every sector must work creatively and quickly to reduce their use of virgin, and any, plastic.  

In Australia, fashion brand Aciae works to the Circle to Zero principle that strives to eliminate waste from every step of its production processes and contribute to the overall reduction of global plastic pollution. The company’s name is Latin for thread and refers to its practice of turning single-use plastic waste into the thread that’s used to create its machine-washable, waterproof, recyclable shoes. Gathered plastics are cleaned, shredded, and then melted down for extrusion. The extruded fibres are then spun into thread, completing the transformation of trash into fabric.  

Aciae works with a number of organisations to source its plastic-based threads, including Repreve Our Ocean, for a line of designs that uses ocean-bound plastics. Aciae’s shoes come in a range of styles and colours, all of which are machine-washable and fully recyclable at the end of their life. That circularity helps Aciae close its production loop and make strides towards its goal of achieving zero carbon emissions by 2030.  

As well as providing the fashion industry with an example of ways of working that reduce waste, Aciae also turns a global scourge into something useful while lessening reliance on virgin materials. The brand highlights design for durability, repair, and disassembly by making recycling at a product’s end-of-life an integral part of the initial creation of each pair of shoes. As part of the Australian Fashion Council, Aciae is helping guide the Council’s Seamless Stewardship programme, which seeks to reduce the country’s volume of clothing waste.  

Springwise’s library also showcases other methods of using recycled plastics for new products such as home construction materials and eyewear.

Written By: Keely Khoury




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