Some 290 million tires are discarded each year in the U.S. alone, and they can be a challenge to recycle. Still, these days as much as 80 percent are reused or recycled in some way, such as for tire-derived fuel (TDF) or retreads (which use much less oil and other resources to produce than new tires), but these solutions can come with further environmental concerns such as increased air pollution and microplastic contamination.
Innovative designers are responding with unique and beautiful alternative uses for end-of-life tires.
Among other products, Corser designed the “Teak and Tyre” product line for the company’s international market launch. The simple but distinctive designs combine the two very durable materials – teak wood and old tires – into comfortable and appealing pieces, thanks to the flexibility of the rubber and a look that could be mistaken for black leather.
One tire is recycled for every three pairs of OTH sneakers. Each shoe’s footprint is unique, cut directly from an end-of-life tire. The body of the shoes is crafted from highly durable, chromium-free Italian leather and natural rubber, while the lining and insole are also 100 percent leather. The insoles are embossed with the OTH logo and are removable.
The launch offers a minimalist design in three color options: white nappa leather, grey suede, and cream-colored nubuck. Each design also includes the GPS coordinates of an unusual or relatively unknown place on its heels, such as a hidden beach in the Landes in France, which the company says is an invitation to escape, adventure and explore.