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World of Barefoot
4 July 2017
SHOES MADE FROM PLASTIC BOTTLES
IN 2017, WE COLLECTIVELY BOUGHT 1 MILLION PLASTIC BOTTLES EVERY SINGLE MINUTE.
LESS THAN HALF OF THEM WERE RECYCLED. MANY OF THEM NOW DWELL IN OUR OCEANS.
The VIVOBAREFOOT recycled PET range turns the throw-away plastic bottles into a high-performance, durable pair of shoes
HEALTHY FOR FEET. HEALTHY FOR THE PLANET.
Plastic is a noteworthy material. Malleable, durable and, in commercial terms, inexpensive. It’s become a notorious icon for modern convenience. But we are the generation to realise that its use comes at a devastating environmental cost.
It’s thought that around 5 trillion pieces of plastic are currently basking in our oceans, with everyday plastic bottles being a key culprit.
Most of these bottles are made from PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) which, left to its own devices, takes over 400 years to decompose. In 2017, reports estimated that we collectively bought 1 million of them every single minute.
We’ve all become visually familiar (and worryingly desensitised) to the critical impact this is having to natural habitats and their animal inhabitants around the globe, from footage of washed up whales’ dissected stomachs spilling trawls of plastic onto beaches, to the remains of albatross chicks with wings framing piles of ingested plastic fragments. From the biggest to the smallest, every sea creature is being affected by our wasteful and irresponsible attitude to throwaway plastic.
What’s perhaps most remarkable is that PET is highly recyclable, yet fewer than half of the bottles bought in 2016 were collected for recycling and just 7% of those collected were turned into new bottles.
At VIVOBAREFOOT we believe we can help turn the tide on this wasteful habit through the creation of our products by raising awareness, collecting used plastic bottles and incorporating them into durable, versatile and healthy shoes. Healthy feet, healthy planet.
Sustainability isn’t limited to material problems, it’s also important to consider use, performance and durability. We developed and introduced our signature Eco-Canvas and Eco-Suede into the VIVOBAREFOOT range in 2015 (Each using 50% recycled PET) which gave us an exciting non-leather alternative whilst maintaining durability and performance. We’ve continued to entwine our barefoot innovations with the latest sustainable technologies ever since.
In 2018 we are introducing more recycled and traceable fibres into over 50% of our vegan line including eco mesh linings and uppers in the Primus and Motus shoes, with some very exciting new material innovations on the horizon including a shoe made almost entirely from plants!
“WE BELIEVE THAT THE PERFECT SHOE HAS MINIMAL INTERFERENCE WITH NATURAL MOVEMENT AND MINIMAL IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT. BAREFOOT SHOE MAKING IS SUSTAINABLE SHOE MAKING IN THAT IT’S ABOUT MAKING SHOES THAT ARE HEALTHY FOR YOU AND ULTIMATELY NEED TO BE HEALTHY FOR THE PLANET. MATERIALS ARE ONLY PART OF THE CHALLENGE BUT EVERY LITTLE HELPS ON THE JOURNEY TO MAKE LESS….SHOE"
- ASHER CLARK, CREATIVE DIRECTOR
HOW DO WE DO IT?
The bottles are washed and the labels are removed. They’re then shredded and turned into granules which are melted, extruded and stretched over rollers into long string fibres. These fibres are spun into a malleable, durable yarn that can be woven to create a functional working material ideal for shoe making.
Changing the World’s relationship with environmentally-damaging materials is a journey we must all walk together, and the recycled PET range is designed to create tangible steps in the right direction.