Plastic waste is a huge problem these days. Many shoe companies are doing their part to reduce plastic waste by making shoes out of recycled plastic.
This is a win-win – it keeps plastic out of landfills and oceans while letting you buy eco-friendly shoes!
In this article, we’ll look at the different types of recycled plastic used in shoes, the benefits of wearing them, popular brands, and more. Let’s get started!
Here are popular brands of shoes that are made from recycled plastic
Many top athletic and casual shoe brands now make shoes from recycled plastics.
- Adidas has parley shoes made from ocean plastic.
- Rothy’s flats and loafers use recycled water bottles.
- Allbirds wool sneakers feature recycled plastic laces and lining.
- Everlane chooses recycled plastic for its tread shoe bottoms.
- Cariuma makes skate shoes and sneakers with recycled plastics.
These brands prove you don’t have to sacrifice style or performance to wear sustainable shoes.
With major companies onboard, recycled plastic shoes are gaining popularity and becoming easier to find.
Types of Recycled Plastic Used in Shoes
The most common recycled plastics used in shoes are PET, rubber, and EVA foam. PET (polyethylene terephthalate) comes from recycled plastic bottles and containers.
Crumb rubber comes from old tires. EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) foam is made from compression molded pellets of recycled foam.
These materials get shredded, melted, and reformed into shoe parts like linings, insoles, and outsoles. Using recycled plastic means these shoes don’t rely on new plastic production.
Benefits of Wearing Recycled Plastic Shoes
Wearing recycled plastic shoes is a sustainable choice that helps the environment. For each pair made from recycled materials, tons of plastic is kept out of landfills and oceans.
The recycling process also uses less energy than manufacturing new plastic. Recycled plastic shoes have the same comfort and durability as normal shoes.
And they let you make an eco-friendly statement! You can feel good knowing your shoes aren’t contributing to plastic pollution.
It’s a simple way to reduce your environmental impact.
How to Choose Recycled Plastic Shoes
When picking recycled plastic shoes, check if they have certifications like Global Recycled Standard or Recycled Claim Standard.
This ensures their recycled materials are verified. Examine the shoe’s durability, comfort, and style like any other shoe purchase.
Recycled shoes shouldn’t compromise on fit and quality. Consider the percentage of recycled content.
The higher, the better. Look into the brand’s sustainability practices to ensure they’re reducing waste in other areas too.
With more brands offering recycled shoes, you can be discerning and find options that are functional, sustainable, and express your personal style.
How to Care for Recycled Plastic Shoes
Caring for recycled plastic shoes is easy! Clean them by wiping down with a damp cloth to remove dirt and debris.
Use mild soap and water if needed. Allow them to fully air dry. To freshen insoles, remove them and let them air out overnight.
Store properly in breathable shoe bags, boxes, or on racks to prevent moisture buildup. Avoid machine washing and high heat drying that could warp or crack materials.
With occasional cleaning and proper storage, recycled plastic shoes will last for seasons. It’s simple to care for these shoes while keeping plastic out of landfills.
The Future of Recycled Plastic Shoes
As sustainable manufacturing gets more innovative, recycled plastic shoes have huge potential.
Brands are experimenting with recycled materials like fishing nets, carpet fibers, and ocean algae.
Processing technologies are improving, allowing more waste to be reused. Consumers are demanding eco-friendly products, so brands are listening.
Recycled shoes could become the norm. Expect more styles featuring recycled plastics, competitive pricing with virgin plastic shoes, and robust recycling programs for worn-out shoes.
The future is bright for recycled footwear! They’re stylish, planet-friendly, and poised to gain popularity over traditional shoes.
Sustainable Alternatives to Recycled Plastic Shoes
For shoppers wanting other eco-friendly options beyond recycled plastic, there are plenty of sustainable shoe materials to consider.
Organic cotton, wool, cork, bamboo, and natural latex are biodegradable and renewable.
Wood and jute fiber shoes promote responsible forestry. Repurposed vintage or surplus leather prevents new tanning.
Durable 100% canvas shoes allow easy recycling when worn out. Shoe rental services reduce consumption and waste.
Biking, walking, and public transit cut emissions from driving. Supporting local and ethical businesses is another green choice.
With some creative thinking, you can reduce your shoe environmental impact in many ways.
Common Misconceptions About Recycled Plastic Shoes
Despite their green benefits, recycled plastic shoes have some misleading myths. Recycled shoes are often presumed flimsy or unfashionable.
In fact, they’re just as durable and stylish as regular shoes! Many think they’re only made from bottle plastic.
But shoe waste, fishing nets, and tires also get recycled. Some assume the shoes themselves can’t be recycled again.
However, brands are creating closed-loop programs to continuously reuse shoe materials.
Lastly, while recycled plastic is better than virgin plastic, leather and natural materials are often viewed as more sustainable long-term.
The truth is, recycled plastic shoes are a smart eco-pick with lots of advantages.
Shoes made with recycled plastic offer an innovative way to keep waste out of landfills and oceans.
All kinds of footwear from athletic shoes to flats are now using recycled PET, rubber, and EVA.
Consumers benefit from the cost savings, durability, and style of recycled shoes. Brands can make an environmental difference and respond to buyers wanting sustainable options.
With better production methods emerging, recycled plastic shoes will continue gaining traction.
Though misconceptions exist, the reality is recycled shoes are fashionable, eco-friendly, and here to stay.
With some research, you can feel good finding the perfect pair while reducing your plastic footprint.