Fashion for Good reports, a staggering 24 billion shoes are introduced to the market each year, with 90% of them ending up in landfills or incinerated. To combat this environmental challenge, Fashion for Good has brought together industry experts to explore sustainable recycling technologies and infrastructures that can accelerate the transition towards a circular future.

One of the key players in this pilot project is Fast Feet Grinded, a company with the capability to deconstruct any type of pre-and post-consumer shoe. They break down these shoes into macro-components, which are then transformed into smaller high-purity granulates. Fast Feet Grinded uses these granulates to create material streams for repurposed use.

The process involves diverting pre- and post-consumer footwear to Fast Feet Grinded, which then converts them into various new material granulates. These granulates will be used by Fast Feet Grinded’s extensive network of supply chain partners to produce output products like outsoles, midsoles, and flip-flops.

The partnering brands, Adidas, Inditex, Target and Zalando will carefully assess the quality and purity of these products to demonstrate the capabilities of Fast Feet Grinded’s footwear recycling technology, with the ultimate goal of scaling up its implementation.

Katrin Ley, the managing director of Fashion for Good commented: “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. By fostering collaborative partnerships like this, where companies come together to share knowledge and validate innovation, we pave the way for scalable solutions.”

Fashion for Goods’ urgency of this initiative is underscored by the projection that the demand for raw materials is expected to triple by 2050. Therefore, reducing reliance on virgin resources through recycled content is crucial. Fast Feet Grinded’s role as a key recycling innovator is vital in providing the industry with secondary raw materials, meeting the rising demand for sustainable products and aligning with regulatory requirements.

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TrusTrace, a company specialising in product traceability and compliance, has unveiled the second edition of its industry playbook, titled ‘The Traceability Roadmap’ in collaboration with Fashion for Good.