From the 25 billion shoes produced every year, only 5 % of used shoes are being collected for recycling or transformation into secondary raw materials - the remaining 95 % go into landfill or incineration

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | August 2019

If you talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk… also with your shoes!

Sustainability is the talk of the day. Generation Y is calling for concrete actions – initiatives like Fridays for future will definitely not be calmed down by paying lip service at Global warming conferences. Ecological and social sustainability has become a question not only for global peace and the survival of our planet, but it is also an essential cornerstone of successful business in the area of garment and footwear.

Consequently, sustainability is one of the main emerging trends driving innovation in global footwear manufacturing. But sustainability is not limited to the use of eco-friendly or biodegradable components and responsible production – it starts with the awareness that resources are limited.

All of us have a part to play - by acting purposefully and consciously as consumers.

"Giving preference to long-lasting materials and eco-labelled brands rather than following emotional mainstream desires… by for example, filling our wardrobes with 'worn-once' shoes."

From the 25 billion shoes produced every year, only 5% of used shoes are being collected for recycling or transformation into secondary raw materials - the remaining 95% go into landfill or incineration.

Taking the lead from the textile industry, lifecycle-management companies are supporting the transformation of the footwear industry from a linear to a circular model design. Some examples:

  • I:COLLECT – a worldwide take-back and collection service for footwear in coordination with brands and retailers ( )
  • SOEX – a shoe-recycling enterprise separating shoes into their individual materials (particularly rubber, leather and textiles) from used and unwearable shoes and then transforming them into secondary raw materials. ( )
  • Soles4Souls – a non-profit social enterprise giving 'gently' worn shoes a second life within a global collection and distribution network ( )

Regarding sustainability…. It is a journey; we are not looking for the big bang, but rather a continuous number of explosions that give a continuous release of energy. (David Geng, Ortolite)

So, making ourselves more aware of our options & responsibilities will surely help us to 'walk the walk'.

Kai, Germany

Global Head of the Performance Coating Division (PCD) at TFL
#perrenials #pianoman
Send a message


This might be also interesting for you:

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | October 2019

Everywhere to be found

Leather has become an irreplaceable item of our daily lives long ago. Most people associate leather with shoes, fashion, car interiors and motorcycle gangs. However, leather offers so much more and can be found in a lot more places than one may assume at first glance. Find below some examples where leather is found (...)

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | September 2019

Why do we buy the things we buy?

70% of all purchase decisions in the supermarket are spontaneous. This is due partly to our own impulsiveness but also the result of the work of marketing and sales experts who use their findings to design shops accordingly. (...)

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | August 2019

Work it harder, make it better, do it faster, makes us stronger

I have been working at TFL since 2013 as a fatliquor chemist in the R&D department. During these six years with TFL, requirements for automotive leather underwent a big change which of course had a big impact on our work and development projects. (...)

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | July 2019

How far will employees go?

Identification with the company is a very important motivation factor for employees. Also identifying with its purposes, brand and brand values the organisation stands for. Employees need to feel that they’re part of something big and meaningful in order to stay motivated and perform above average. (...)

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | June 2019

The art of leather

Art has been vital to human beings from the beginning of time. Ever since the first humans have evolved, they started decorating their cave walls with primitive paintings, used plants, flowers and petals to express themselves (...)

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | June 2019

It's a matter of survival

A couple of years ago the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in partnership with the World Economic Forum informed that by 2050 plastic in the oceans will outweigh fish and that only 14% of plastic packaging, the biggest source of plastic pollution in the oceans, is recycled (...)

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | May 2019

Stay curious

Still curious after 35 years working with leather? Florian is telling us why he is still fascincated of our industry and how extremely far the technology went in the last ten years (...)

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | May 2019

"Leather-lunged"? "Hell for leather"?

Leather has played such a significant role for humans and their daily lives for such a long time, that it has even managed to invade our language. Manuela had a look into the dictionary for us (...)

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | May 2019

How to take care of your leather article

Regular cleaning with appropriate cleaning agents is a good start - but there is so much more you can do! Observe our hints and enjoy your sustainable product for a lifetime (...)