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 ( www.ico-spirit.com )
  • 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. ( www.soex.de )
  • Soles4Souls – a non-profit social enterprise giving 'gently' worn shoes a second life within a global collection and distribution network ( www.soles4souls.org )

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
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