Blog: Leonie BarrieThese boots are made for walking.... and walking

Leonie Barrie | 31 July 2006

An astonishing 17 billion pairs of shoes are made every year worldwide – and most of them will end up in landfill sites after just one or two years. It’s a frightening thought, and one that’s obviously perplexed researchers at Loughborough University in the UK. A team here is leading a European consortium of 54 organisations – including businesses, technology providers, research and development institutes, and other universities – in a project to recycle old shoes into new footwear or even for generating energy.

Some of the ideas include reintroducing old shoes back into the market by repairing and polishing them; recovering sole and upper materials to put into new shoes; re-using parts of the shoe to make other products; or utilising discarded shoes to generate energy or other useful by-products.

It’s a commendable project. As Dr Shahin Rahimifard, director of the Centre for Sustainable Manufacturing and Re-Use/Recycling Technologies (SMART) at Loughborough University points out, at the moment a very limited number of sports trainers are being recycled which means that tonnes of perfectly good material is sent to
landfill every year.

And of course the problem is made worse by current trends in fashion shoes that are often discarded after just one season.


BLOG

US border tax a contentious issue

Fresh from their disappointment at seeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal abandoned last month with an executive order by President Donald Trump, the US apparel and footwear sector...

BLOG

Primark's sustainable cotton programme takes shape

With the ultimate aim of ensuring all the cotton in its products is sourced sustainably, value clothing retailer Primark is adamant that having a business model focused on offering the lowest prices o...

BLOG

Trump administration starts to shake up trade

Last week we marked the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States by taking a closer look at what's at stake for the textile and apparel trade – especially his promises t...

BLOG

Likely shifts in the sourcing landscape in 2017

Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?