Discarded tyres are an eco-menace, taking hundreds of years to decompose, but around the world some manufacturers are recycling these old tyres into fashion statements, by turning them into stylish flip flops. With Brazil often considered the home of the flip flop, it shouldn’t be surprising that one of these companies is based in Rio de Janeiro. With an estimated 20 million tyres a year discarded in Brazil, footwear company Amazon is finding innovative ways to reuse old tyres. It collects, chips and reforms tyres into eco-friendly and fashionable sandals and flip flops, making these some of the greenest shoes around. Combining recycling and fair trade, Rebearth eco-friendly fair trade sandals are made by a collective of workers in Nairobi, Kenya. These workers take old tyres and cut and mould them by hand, combining with locally grown organic cotton and unworn recycled leather to create simple, stylish shoes that are easy on your feet and your conscience.
Of course, it’s not just rubber and leather that can be recycled in this way, and large manufacturers are also getting in on the idea. Take Levi, who now produce affordable, stylish and eco-friendly trainers made from old pairs of Levi jeans. As each pair of shoes differs slightly according to the source material, they are totally unique, so they’re good for the planet and good for your image!