Because we at Van den Breekel Schoenen find it important that sustainability is high on the agenda, it is one of the points we pay close attention to in our shoe production. For years, we have noticed that the production of trainers and shoes is often not environmentally friendly. We therefore want the Midden-Brabant region to be on the map within 5 years as ‘the place to be’ when it comes to sustainable design, circular manufacturing and distribution of fully recyclable shoes. We want to achieve this together with 360 Circular and other partners from Brabant.
The project would be unique, because at the moment only 5 percent of used shoes are recycled. Yet worldwide, more than 20 billion pairs of shoes are worn every year. Most of these shoes are thrown away. We think this is a shame. With this economic and technical feasibility study, we want to look at the possibilities of stopping this waste. We will investigate how a shoe can be produced in a sustainable and recyclable way using machines.
It is especially important that the recyclable shoes we want to produce in the future can be processed into an even purer material. With this up-cycling, the plastic we use in the shoes no longer ends up in nature and the fabric becomes more sustainable. With this, Van den Breekel wants to develop a realistic concept together with 360 Circular. Plastic material can be recycled more easily and is better for people and animals.
NO BURNING PLASTIC
In addition, we are solving another major environmental problem: the plastic that does not end up in the “plastic soup” is burned in large landfills. And that, of course, is bad for the environment because this incineration releases many harmful substances. The initiatives that are currently being undertaken are not enough, because linear production is maintained. This only postpones the solution of this problem. Because all the plastic shoes that we want to produce according to this concept are recycled into footwear/products made from a sustainable material, much less waste remains to be incinerated.
INNOVATION & EMPLOYMENT
With this project and research, Van den Breekel and 360 Circular show that innovation in the traditional shoe industry is indeed possible. The plastic shoe to be developed can be fully recycled. The model must also be able to compete with large brands, by paying attention to trends, quality and comfort in the design. By producing all these shoes locally, we create employment in the sustainable sector of Midden-Brabant. We make use of all the knowledge and skills that this region has to offer. With the support of various partners, we are enthusiastically researching a shoe that will make people aware of the need to conserve resources.
Are you also interested in up-cycling and the circular economy? Then you can always request more information from our family business by contacting us. Our latest shoe models, which are created in consultation with our customers, meet all the requirements to fit into the new sustainable era. Will you join us? Then we would like to talk to you soon!