Recycled plastic bottle pieces in a transparent dish

Meet the brands creating shoes from recycled plastic

Karl Lee, June 29, 2021

Most sneakers and trainers use fossil-fuel based plastics and polymers. But a new wave of sustainable shoe brands are gaining popularity. Their shoes are built on recycled plastics and renewable materials from the ground up.

Allbirds laces made from recycled plastic bottles

From bottles to laces

Allbirds use 100% recycled plastic bottles to create the laces for their sustainable shoes. According to the footwear company, one recycled bottle can be used to make one new pair of laces.

The rest of their shoe is made from renewable materials including Merino wool, eucalyptus tree, and sugar cane.

Broken pieces of plastic bottles for Rothy's plastic thread

Knitted from recycled plastic

Rothy's takes plastic bottles that are headed to landfill and turns them into a fine thread. The thread is knit into sneakers, loafers, flats and more.

Rothy's also use algal foam, natural rubber, and corn-based polymers in their shoes.

Components of Cariuma OCA Low shoe spread out

Labels, lining and laces

Recycled plastic bottles are used for parts of Cariuma's sneakers, alongside organic cotton, cork and rubber.