11 Mar Footwear designed for a circular economy is already a reality
More than 24 billion shoes are produced annually, making the textile and footwear (FASHION) industry the second most polluting industry in the world. The alternative to this production is to design products based on the circular economy. The complexity shoe sole and upper disassembly makes this paradigm an option of little value, but it is just a matter of finding the right materials and making the right design-manufacturing to close the circle. And everything points to the fact that this is possible.
The young footwear company located in Elche, Vesica Piscis , partner of the LIFE-REWEART project has permitted to test the viability of its circular footwear. We have been working with Albero&Sempere S.L. factory based in Banyeres de Mariola (Alicante), which has large facilities equipped with equipment and machinery to disassemble all types of fabrics.
This factory makes it possible to carry out a new reality: downcycling textile waste from different sources, converting it into an optimum product for the market, confirms the unlimited possibilities of recycled fabrics.
Crushing devil’ is the name of the machine that makes this procedure possible, a large-capacity device whose container is the receiver of all the waste that arrives from the chute through which the materials to be recycled slide, a hopper that is equipped with rotating cutters prepared to shred cotton, natural and synthetic fibres.
The result obtained after processing 100% textiles shoe uppers is as expected: a shredded fabric. This can be used to create a new material through the process of fibre blending and spinning for footwear manufacturing or in other sectors such are textiles, automotive, agriculture and furniture.
This process contributes to the achievement of objective 1 of the LIFE REWEART project: To demonstrate a new footwear production model, as well as tools based on resource optimisation methods that allow, in the design phase, the selection of the most suitable materials (including recycled ones) and processes, in order to reduce the consumption of resources and the generation of waste in the textile and footwear sectors.
This experience, confirms the future of footwear is ready to change. Designing shoes for
a circular economy is already a reality for those willing to do it.