Sustainable footwear made from plastic bottles
By Canadian Packaging staffDesign & Innovation Sustainability Bottling plastic bottle recycling PLUSfoam Rothys shoes 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.
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 www.rothys.com.