Canadian Packaging

Sustainable footwear made from plastic bottles

Rothy’s ‘green’ shoes come in 17 colors and are made from plastic bottles and yarn—and they look pretty nice, too.

July 15, 2016   by Canadian Packaging staff

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Rothy’s first-ever seamless shoe uses a 3D knitting process and a fiber made from 100 percent recycled plastic water bottles that offers fashionable women’s shoes that can be fully recycled when no longer needed.

Based in San Francisco, California, Rothy’s plastic bottle shoes are the result of three years of R&D (research and development) from company co-founders Roth Martin and Stephen Hawthornthwait.

Yes, the shoes are indeed made of real used plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles, that have all the caps and labels removed, are hot washed, chipped into flake and fused into a plastic filament fiber to make a yarn. The yarn is treated with a wicking agent to repel moisture away from the foot.

Rothy’s says the yarn fiber is soft, breathable and only takes three recycled bottles per pair of shoes.


A special process and machine is used to knit the yarn into the shoes’ shape, which minimizes material waste, irregularities and defects by not using cut patterns.

The shoe upper (what you see on top) is heat-set to shape using a mold, and is then combined with the outsole (carbon free) and a comfortable cushioned insole (100 percent recyclable). Heck,  even the packaging used to send the shoes to the consumer is recyclable.

The seamless construction will increases comfort, as it features no elastic or anything abrasive. Just comfort.


Available in 17 colors and two styles, Rothy’s says the shoes are machine washable—but not recommended to do so too often.

As for the shoes’ end-of-life recyclability? Rothy’s says consumers can download an online shipping form and send the shoes to PLUSfoam, a recycling partner.

The Flat retails for US$125, while The Point shoe sell for US$145.

Company information available at

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16 Comments » for Sustainable footwear made from plastic bottles
  1. Tina Keating says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this…but unfortunately, they are too expensive for the average consumer.

    • I know… it’s too bad about the price. Of course, as usual… the more things become more commonplace, the lower the price. I had a VCR I purchased in 1978 for $527. Now? $10 – if you can find one. DVD players = $50. Hopefully this technology will become more affordable for the average consumer in the near future.

  2. Karen Letendre says:

    Two things
    1. If this is a BC company why the US prices?
    2. Is there a place to try them on? I live in BC and travel to the Lower Mainland about twice a year?

    • Hey Karen, I don’t know why you think it’s a BC company… it is a San Francisco-based company… hence the US prices.
      Canadian Packaging puts up stories from around the world not to tease the Canadian reader, but to inspire Canadian manufacturers, if possible.
      If them, why not us – kind of mentality.

  3. Karen Crouse says:

    Love the shoes..not the price.

    • Considering the cheapest price I could find for a pair of Nike running shoes that would fit my wide feet was a about half that price – and the sustainable footwear LOOKS great… it’s not too far out of line.
      Now… since this is new technology, perhaps the price will come down over the years as the technology becomes more common… it would be akin to when I purchased a VCR as a kid for CDN$527 in the late 1970s… or CD-players in the 80s… or microwave ovens…
      However… we are talking women’s shoes here… perhaps the price will never come down. But you are right… the shoes do look neat.

  4. I see that all people have the same reaction. Why the exorbitant fees?
    If you sell them in B.C. then they should be in Canadian dollars.
    I am curious as to why, if we are neighbours, you wouldn’t have an outlet here that sells in Canadian dollars.

  5. jrose says:

    After all the trump business with soft wood and dairy cows, are we really going to buy AMERICAN! Are we going to sit around and say Hiel Trump just like people used to do with Hiel Hitler?????????????????

  6. Lorna Weiss says:

    We tried ordering some but it says it doesn’t ship to Canada is there somewhere we can get them from in Canada?

    • Hi Lorna… Hmmm… that sucks about no shipping to Canada. The obvious places to look are E-Bay and other similar auction sites… always check the shipping charges first!!! in case someone shows a low purchase price.
      Other than that… I tried looking up shoe companies on-line… plenty ship to Canada, just not this brand… but… again, try a search in an auction site… didn’t see anything in… I did see three current auctions for shoes on E-bay… good luck.

  7. Haven says:

    These shoes look great and I’d love to buy them, but they don’t ship to Canada. I actuallly found your site by searching for Rothy’s Canada hoping to find a store in Canada that sold them. It seems odd that a site called Canadian Packaging would sell a US only product.

    • Ha. We, Canadian Packaging, do NOT sell shoes. We are a magazine that is merely reporting on a product that is made from RECYCLED plastic. While NOT a Canadian product, it is posted here as an attempt to educate people within other industries about alternative ways to incorporate things like plastic bottles into the manufacture of THEIR own products.

  8. Michelle says:

    I just ordered my first pair and love them! I have bunions in both my feet and because these shoes have a little stretch to them, my bunions don’t hurt after a day of wearing them. Here’s a link to get $20 off your first pair…it also gives me $20 so I can buy my second pair!

  9. Tammy says:

    I’m going to reiterate what several others have said. I tried ordering these remarkable sounding shoes too and of course.. no dice! Won’t ship to Canada. Serious pity.

    • That is quite the shame. What we need is an enterprising Canadian company to act as the company’s distributor in Canada. Perhaps something like that is in discussion, or perhaps the parent company is considering to eventually market in Canada themselves and is simply biding its time. Part of the reason why this magazine presents such products not-yet available in Canada is to show the technology or products available elsewhere and to perhaps stimulate our own Canadian manufacturing economy. Still, Tammy and the rest who have written in, it is disappointing, and we hope such a great-looking product finds itself up here soon.

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