Several prominent footwear brands and retailers, including Adidas, Inditex, Target, and Zalando, have joined forces to participate in a new recycling initiative.
Amidst growing concern about waste in the shoe industry, the initiative aims to address the problem head-on. Currently, 24 billion shoes are introduced to the market annually, with 90% of them ending up in landfills or incinerated, according to a report from Vivo Barefoot.
FastFeetGrinded breaks down all types of pre-and post-consumer shoes into their macro components, which are then transformed into smaller, high-purity granulates. These granulates can be repurposed for various applications, completing the shoe recycling process. FastFeetGrinded’s supply chain partners can now create products like outsoles, midsoles, and flip-flops from recycled materials.
Participating retail partners and brands of the pilot will divert their pre- and post-consumer footwear to FastFeetGrinded, where the materials will undergo recycling and be transformed into new material granulates.
“This project will be a first in the footwear industry to allow us to understand the sustainable recycling technologies and infrastructures needed to accelerate the transition towards a circular future,” said Katrin Ley, managing director of Fashion for Good. “By fostering collaborative partnerships like this, where companies come together to share knowledge and validate innovation, we pave the way for scalable solutions.”
Additionally, the program coincides with projections from Fashion For Good, suggesting a threefold increase in the demand for raw materials by 2050. In light of this, the reliance on brand new, or ‘virgin’, materials must be reduced to enhance sustainability.
The fashion industry, as a whole, stands out as one of the most environmentally polluting sectors, largely due to the surge of fast fashion, which has led to a significant escalation in the volume of discarded clothing ending up in landfills. Nevertheless, progress is already being made in the footwear sector, as demonstrated by Allbirds’ recent introduction of their groundbreaking zero-carbon shoe.
Adidas, too, is actively collaborating with other brands to promote upcycled components in select shoe designs. In 2020, they successfully developed new vegan footwear using plant-based materials and upcycled fabric, in partnership with American sneaker designer, Sean Wotherspoon.
Zara also recently announced it will turn to recycling and sustainably farmed crops to reduce its environmental impact by 2030, as fast-fashion retailers face continued pressure to cut waste.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?