Friday, 4 September 2009

I flipping love these

I'm actually just going to go ahead and admit it: I am only really truly happy when I am wearing flip-flops. I love flip-flops. I measure success in how much I am able to wear flip-flops. So while the fact that I am not a surgeon or fund manager makes me unsuccessful in the eyes of some, the flip (sorry) side of that equation is that those situations would probably curtail my rigorous flip-flop wearing schedule. And I just can't have that.

Last week I was checking out the latest in footwear fashion at Abbadabba's in Atlanta. They sell a whole heap of flops, including some from Simple. I started looking into Simple, and discovered that they have an admirable recycling and upcycling agenda. The following is from their press pack, and I'm including it not because I think everyone should necessarily go out and buy their shoes, but because it illustrates some truly resourceful design. 

Upcycled Inner Tubes Our inner tubes come from big tires. The recycled inner tube accents in our sneakers look nice and move lots of retired inner tubes off the streets and onto the sidewalks.

Recycled Plastics (PET) PET is the abbreviation of polyethylene terephthalate, which is really just a fancy-pants word for clear plastic that comes from soda and water bottles. We use PET to make some of our shoelaces and as the wrapping around the latex elastic we use in some of our shoes.

Post-consumer Recycled Paper Simple boxes and foot-forms are all made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper, or as it’s known in the world-saving biz, PCR paper. This means all of our boxes and foot forms are made from paper that other people have used; it could have been a take out restaurant menu, an abandoned printout left at the copy machine, or a weekly gossip mag, we don’t discriminate. By using PCR paper we are able to recycle a material and extend its useful life.

Upcycled Car Tires Have you ever thought about what happens to car tires once they’ve completed their useful life on the wheels of your car? Best case scenario is that the tires get recycled... worse case scenario is they wind up in a landfill or worse, incinerated. We’ve figured out a way to take used car tires and turn them into the outsoles of our shoes. Besides being super durable and grippy, we’re extending the life of a material that is otherwise considered trash. And did we mention we can make 6 pairs of men’s size 9 shoes from a single car tire?

Upcycled Bike Tires Bike Tires.... little circular pieces of rubber that roll around on the ground attached to your bike. We’ve found a way to re-use the rubber for heel and toe bumpers that would otherwise become fodder for a landfill.

Upcycled Carpet Padding In the ever-consuming search for new and eco-friendly materials, a light finally went on. We spend all day walking on carpet padding so why not use it in the shoes? Our carpet padding is durable, comfy, and made almost entirely from scrap and post-consumer foam. It will not, however, match your wallpaper.


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