Now, we don’t want you to think SAOLA recycled shoes are garbage. Quite the contrary. They’re very comfortable and stylish, and if we didn’t tell you they were made from recycled plastic you’d never know it.
There are actually all kinds of high-quality apparel and gear that are made with recycled plastic. Even the world of high fashion has started using it. Reason being, is that polyester and plastic bottles are made from the same substance - polyethylene terephthalate. Don’t worry – we can’t pronounce it either. That’s why everyone just refers to it as PET. But bottom line, manufacturer’s can create the same fabrics that they always have by utilizing recycled plastic.
Here’s how that plastic bottle from your bin is made into your apparel:
There are still way less places that textile manufacturers can buy recycled PET compared to synthetic materials and it’s certainly more expensive. And for a long time, the manufacturing mentality was make more stuff, and make it as cheap as possible, so brands weren’t using it.
So why should you care about using recycled PET instead of polyester? Because even though traditional polyester offers a lot of benefits – it’s stretchy, soft, and breathable – it’s a petroleum-based product. So every time a shirt or pair of shoes is made with raw polyester, it’s using more oil and creating more damage to our environment. Recycled PET looks, feels, and performs the same way as its crude oil counterpart, while also keeping those bottles out of our landfills. It’s really a win-win and let us produce sustainable shoes!
So if you ever find yourself second guessing if recycling really matters, the answer is an emphatic yes. It does. And now that you know about it, keep an eye out for it in other stuff you buy! Remember the old “Reduce Reuse Recycle” song? That’s what we’re talkin’ about.
Thank you for joining the movement for cleaner manufacturing and a healthy planet. Together, we can #MAKEANIMPACT.
First, we need to review the definition of recycling in order to better understand what upcycling and downcycling are.