Innovation at your feet

December 14, 2016

Innovation Factory

Wearing recycled plastic on your feet has never been more fashionable. Both Nike and Adidas have developed innovative and sustainable techniques to create footwear from reprocessed plastic, and now a new US startup is selling shoes knitted from cast-off bottles.

The result of three years of research and product development, Rothy’s shoes are carbon-free and totally recycled, and they can be recycled again when no longer needed. The company says it’s proud of making a ‘sophisticated stylish product…with less waste and more responsible materials’.

Rothy’s claims, as well, to be the first to use a three-dimensional seamless knitting process, so that shoes come out of the machine fully formed. The filament fibre from three plastic water bottles turns into a shoe in only six minutes.

Nike uses a similar method to create its Flyknit trainers. Adidas recently also unveiled a new line of running shoes and soccer jerseys almost completely made of plastic found in the ocean – including some from the Maldives’ shores. The material comes from clean-up operations led by Parley for the Oceans, an ocean protection organisation.

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