The result of upcycling discarded water plastic bottles, carbon-free recycled rubber and recyclable foam
Two years ago, San Francisco entrepreneurs Roth Martin and Stephen Hawthornthwaite founded Rothy’s, a shoe company that prides itself on a heightened level of environmental responsibility. Using discarded plastic bottles, carbon-free recycled rubber and recyclable foam, they created comfortable women’s shoes that are the new trend in the city. Three discarded plastic bottles (which are first hot-washed and chipped into flakes) are enough to create enough fiber for one pair of shoes and thanks to the 3D knitting process that is used, which almost completely obliterates waste, the results are virtually seamless. “With a computer program, we were able to write a pattern that basically uses this fiber exclusively,” says Martin, holding an electric-blue thread that was once a beverage container and will soon be on someone’s feet. “People expect products to be good, but they also expect the company to do good,” he says. “We certainly think that’s the future.”
The shoes, which are knitted in six minutes, are breathable, machine-washable and wick away moisture. They are available in three forms, the Flat, the Point, and the Loafer and in a wide variety of colors and designs, costing from $125 to $165.
These innovative shoes are recyclable and Rothy’s has also partnered with materials manufacturer PlusFoam, to recycle the entirety of each shoe at the end of its wearable life. “Using cutting-edge technology to diminish our carbon footprint while also adding an innovative twist to a classic ballet flat is very rewarding for both of us,” Hawthornthwaite, Rothy’s CEO, said.