At the Lineapelle fabrics and leather fair in Milan later this month, Sympatex will unveil a children’s shoe consisting of up to 90 percent recycled raw material, including a sole made of more than two thirds of recycled rubber. Following the recycled and recyclable functional jacket 4.0 made out of 32 PET bottles launched at OutDoor Friedrichshafen in June 2017, this latest Sympatex development is second in the company’s new Lighthouse project.
“Already since the foundation of Sympatex approximatelt 30 years ago, the world population has been growing by 50%. At the same time, human kind has increased the consumption of resources on earth up to 1.6 times more than our planet would be able to recover. We are currently consuming the reserves of our children’s generation – and leave them piles of rubbish behind”, explains Dr. Rüdiger Fox, CEO of Sympatex Technologies. “This new lighthouse project is an attempt to make our contribution to counteract this trend. We do not plan an own shoe collection, but we won’t stop to demonstrate examples of what is possible in the shoe sector in terms of ecology already today until we succeed together with all industrial players to jointly close the resource cycle. This project combines highest expectations for performance and modern shoe production with at the same time optimised sustainability and we invite the entire industry to replicate these technological opportunities unscrupulously that are available already today.”
The material basis of the functional shoe consists of 100% recycled outer fabric and lining laminates from the existing Sympatex portfolio. The membrane’s production waste is completely reused via the Sympatex pre-consumer recycling and consists of 100% polyetherester, said the compant. The 100% recycled outer fabric and linings contain GRS-certified (Global Recycled Standard) and bluesign-certified polyester fibers made out of recycled PET bottles. Comparing the production of 1 kg used recycled polyester fibres with 1 kg petroleum-based polyester fibres, the life cycle assessment is 32% CO2 reduction, 60% energy savings and 94% less water consumption. In this case, instead of 60 litres, only about 3 litres of this rare resource are consumed.
Furthermore, Sympatex uses a toxic-free and biologically tanned leather upper which in return can be integrated into the recycling process. Recycled and recyclable material is also used for the insole and pad as well as for reinforcement material, sewing threads, shoelaces and even adhesives. Thus, the entire functional shoe consists of approx. 90 per cent recycled material which in return can be integrated into the recycling process. In addition, more than two thirds of the sole is made out of recycled rubber.
In addition to the recycling capability and avoiding toxic agents, one of the priorities of the Munich company is to compensate the resulting CO2 emissions. The Sympatex membrane has been completely climate-neutral since 2017. Now the functional specialist produces its new recycled children’s functional shoe in a completely climate-neutral way by acquiring a respective climate protection certificate. Since the beginning of 2017, Sympatex also assists its customers to compensate inevitable CO2 emissions. Here, the company cooperates with the ClimatePartner climate protection consultancy from Munich. The customers obtain a certificate which can be attached to the label of the manufactured product via a QR code. This ensures transparency for the consumer, said Sympatex.