Two years of research and development have resulted in the first ever flip-flop outsoles made from 100% recycled materials. Working closely with the La Rioja Footwear Technology Centre, Ecoalf have developed a process capable of moulding rubber particles from recycled tires without using any adhesives or harmful chemicals.
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Scroll down to learn more about the production process.
Ecoalf sources used tyres from Signus, a not-for-profit which handles used tyres from Spanish manufacturers such as Michelin and Continental.
The tyres are shredded into small pieces.
Tyres are complex to recycle and pieces of textile (show in picture) must be separated out to obtain rubber chips.
The rubber chips are then cleansed from any remaining impurities.
The chips are ground down further until they form a fine powder.
The refined powder can be shaped with pressure and high temperature, without the need for any adhesive.
An EVA midsole and rubber topsheet are added and the strength and flexibility of the soles tested.
The straps, also made from recycled rubber, are stamped into place.
Editors note: This post was originally posted on 10th May 2018. It was updated on 9th January 2020 to make clear that it is the outsole only that is made with 100% recycled content.