REDUCING A SHOE'S IMPACT
BY Ben HookeThe current footwear model is broken. If the shoe industry was a country it would be the 17th largest polluter.
Brands make shoes - which are carbon intensive in production and material choice. Customers buy them. And invariably, they end up in landfill - 90% of shoes end up discarded in landfill.
Our model of production and consumption needs to change. We all need to take responsibility for our products from beginning to end.
This is how hylo designs to reduce our impact.
Material SelectionThis starts with what they’re made out of: the footwear industry is currently reliant on petroleum-derived materials.
We avoid the use of plastics and metals as much as possible - they are finite and some materials can take thousands of years to biodegrade - a slice of ethylene vinyl acetate, for instance, will be still in landfill in the year 3022.
The hylo LIGHT is built using renewable materials such as PLA - derived from corn and sugarcane, enabling us to use these materials in future products and reducing our reliance on petroleum-based materials.
Designing to get more out of lessOnce materials are selected, the way they’re put together is key to a running shoe’s circularity.
The average running shoe has 65 parts meaning over 360 processing steps are required, making them carbon-intensive to make as well as a barrier to circularity.
At end of life, the hurdle to recycling many shoes is not just the amount of components but the amount of materials and colours too. Up to 40 different materials are stitched or glued together - making them arduous to break up and recycle separately.
The LIGHT is made up of 16 different parts - 25% of the average running shoe. Meaning, when we design, we get more out of less. And apply the principle of circularity at the start of the shoe’s life.
ManufacturingOnce into manufacturing, we apply a philosophy of cross-componentry to our products. Again, seeking to see more in the marginal gains.
All of our materials are transported to our manufacturing centre by road, rather than flown from around the world.
We use flat-knitting - a technique which wastes less material when creating the LIGHT’s upper.
The yarn used on the LIGHT is dope-dyed at pellet level to reduce water consumption. Our less is more approach means less waste and less carbon used during manufacturing - as well as an easier process at end of life.
How to recycle with hylo:When you're finished with your LIGHTs, you can send them back to us and we'll give you £10 hylo credit as a thank you for keeping them out of landfill
Our community is the most important part of our circularity. Without you, the hyloop ends.