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Fashion for Good, adidas, Inditex, Target, Zalando Launch Circular Footwear Pilot

Fashion for Good and its four brand partners have joined forces with footwear-recycling innovator FastFeetGrinded to support the scaling of recycled content in footwear.

Fashion for Good — along with brand partners adidas, Inditex, Target and Zalando — has launched a pilot with footwear-recycling innovator FastFeetGrinded to test and validate the process to support the uptake of recycled content in footwear, driving the ongoing change towards a more circular footwear industry.

“This project will be a first in the footwear industry to allow us to understand the sustainable recycling technologies and infrastructures needed to accelerate the transition towards a circular future,” said Katrin Ley, Managing Director at Fashion for Good. “By fostering collaborative partnerships like this, where companies come together to share knowledge and validate innovation, we pave the way for scalable solutions.”

Globally, 24 billion shoes are added to the market each year; and a staggering 90 percent of those are either landfilled or incinerated, according to research from Vivobarefoot — another innovator working to eliminate the vast amount of waste in the footwear industry by reimagining how shoes are designed, made and remade.

Circularity is gradually gaining a foothold in footwear — with upcycling everything from marine plastic and carbon emissions to their own used footwear into new footwear components; but efforts to date are nowhere near the scale needed to meaningfully curtail the industry demand for raw materials, which is expected to triple by 2050.

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Netherlands-based startup FastFeetGrinded’s unique process deconstructs any type of pre- and post-consumer shoe and breaks it down into its macro-components. These macro-components are then subsequently grinded down into smaller, high-purity granulates which the company may use to create material streams for repurposed use.

Through this collaborative pilot, the partners will divert pre- and post-consumer footwear to FastFeetGrinded, which will transform them into various new material granulates. The next step involves the company’s extensive network of supply chain partners — which will produce test products such as outsoles, midsoles and flip flops. Fashion for Good and its partners will closely evaluate the products’ quality and purity, aiming to showcase the potential of FastFeetGrinded’s footwear-recycling technology and pave the way for scalable solutions.

Click here to learn more about how your company can partner with FastFeetGrinded to scale circularity in footwear.