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Blog > News
05.08.2020

Shoes Made from Recycled Ocean Plastic

Shoes made from recycled plastic are one way to tackle the excess waste polluting our oceans. We are in the midst of a climate crisis, and plastic plays a major role in this. We can help to combat this problem by recycling the plastic found in the ocean and reuse it to create sustainable shoes.  

What Type of Ocean Plastic is Used to Create Recycled Shoes?

Ocean plastic refers to plastic that has made its way into the sea. This is a consequence of littering, not recycling plastic, and putting plastic through our drains.  It is estimated that  8 billions tons of plastic enter our oceans every year, making up a massive 80% of all ocean debris.Often these plastics are  PET plastic water bottles which are 100% recyclable. Not only does ocean plastic waste pose harm to sea-life but it is also a waste of resources. By recovering this litter it could be reused to turn into useful products such as shoes made from recycled plastic. These new, recycled products benefit 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. Once processed they are ready to become  sustainable shoes made from recycled plastic!  

How Are Shoes Made of Recycled Ocean Plastic?

To create our shoes made of recycled plastic, we first clean and sterilize the bottles. 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  pointed ballet flats and  round ballet flats look good and feel good! These are a pair of shoes made from recycled plastic that you’ll never want to take off!

see how we turn recycled ocean plastic into ballet flats

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 create additional comfort in our shoes made from recycled plastic we add an extra insole - also made of recycled PET plastic. Learning  how ballet flats can be made of ocean plastic, will entice you to invest in more shoes made from recycled plastic.

Giesswein’s Eco-Friendly Shoes Made from Recycled Plastic 

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. Whilst our  merino wool  men’s sneakers and  women’s sneakers, use  mulesing free wool. We even ensure there is no waste and even the smallest of wool scraps get reused.

Our ballerina shoes made from recycled plastic 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.

recycled ocean plastic flats from giesswein

About Giesswein’s Sustainability

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  men’s slippers and  women’s slippers. Or the reused resources in our shoes made from recycled plastic, waste is something we are not about. As outlined in our  green strategy, we are proud of:

  • Local production in the heart of Europe
  • 100% merino wool
  • No oil use
  • No wasted material
  • We recycle up to 90% of water