We are in the midst of a climate crisis, and plastic plays a major role in this. It is estimated that 8 billions tons of plastic enter our oceans every year, making up a massive 80% of all ocean debris. One way to tackle this problem is to recycle this plastic found in the ocean and reuse it to create sustainable products such as ocean plastic shoes.
Ocean plastic refers to plastic that has made its way into the ocean, this is a consequence of littering, not recycling plastic, and putting plastic through our drains. Often these plastics are PET plastic water bottles which are 100% recyclable. Clearly, ocean plastic waste poses a harm to sea-life but it is also a waste of plastic that could be reused to create useful products - benefiting both animals, the environment, and us.
At Giesswein we fish PET plastic out of the South China Sea (in our first year alone we recycled 100,000 bottles!). Once the PET plastic water bottles have been separated from other plastics they can begin their journey of being processed, ready to become sustainable shoes!
Firstly, the bottles are cleaned and sterilized. Then they are shredded ready to be melted and turned into pellets. These pellets are then spun into a fine yarn.
This fine yarn is what we use to create our ballet flats, it is knitted into one piece that creates the upper of our ocean plastic shoes. By creating this upper as one piece we avoid creating any waste, and it also means there are no seams - making our ballet flats look good and feel good!
The PET plastic material is then sewn to the shoe’s sole which is made of synthetic rubber and vegetable oil making it biodegradable. To make our shoes extra comfy we add an extra insole, also made of recycled PET plastic. You can see exactly how ballet flats are made from ocean plastic on our blog too!
From flats to slippers, and throughout our processes, maintaining a high ethical standard is a must. Sustainability, ethical practices, and the use of natural resources is fundamental to Giesswein. For example, our slippers are made from 100% virgin wool. We even ensure there is no waste and even the smallest of wool scraps get reused.
Our ballerinas tell a similar story too. As Pink Charming highlights, our flats combine recycled ocean PET plastic with a 100 % biodegradable sole. Not only will you be super comfortable on your feet, but can relax knowing you’ve purchased a pair of shoes with a small environmental footprint.
Being as environmentally-friendly as possible is close to our hearts. It stems from the core of our production process, all the way to how we source and use materials. After all we’d hate to see anything go to waste! Whether it be from the merino wool in our shoes or the virgin wool in our slippers, waste is something we are not about. As outlined in our green strategy, we are proud of: