Innovation That Matters

The recycled shoes | Photo source Salomon

A fully circular running shoe

Fashion & Beauty

The new shoes are designed to use the least number of different materials as possible for easy dissembling and recycling

Spotted:  French company Salomon has designed a pair of running shoes that are 100 per cent recyclable.

For example, the thread used to sew the shoes is the same material as the rest of the upper. The shoe’s upper, itself made from recycled polyester, can be recycled again into new thread for fabric, and the foam sole can be ground up and used in the brand’s ski boots. Thus, nothing ends in the landfill. In the future, it may even be possible to make soles out of recycled PET, so that the whole shoe would be made of a single material and would be even easier to recycle.

Solomon joins the growing number of companies that see the shift to circular products as crucial. “The footwear industry is a large contributor to pollution, and we have made a choice to be part of an industry shift that influences how shoes are made, how long they last, and what you do with them when it’s time for a new pair,” says Brent James, product line manager for running shoes at Salomon.

The shoes are also designed to be easily disassembled. Regional collection centres will gather used shoes for cleaning and disassembling before sending the materials to local partners for recycling. After that, the recycled materials will be sent to manufacturers. In the case of the recycled foam, it will be sent to the factory that makes Salomon’s ski boots, allowing the ground-up sole of each shoe to be used for a new ski boot shell.

The company hopes to incorporate ideas about circularity into all of its future products.  

Written By: Katrina Lane

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