5 reasons why cork and old tyres are great for your shoes (and the planet)
Up-cycled cork and old tyres in your shoe? Yes, you heard right. There are a number of reasons why these materials are finding their way into our footwear, and prime among them is the fact that they are better for the planet. Eco-friendly vegan footwear is a big step forward in the sustainable fashion space, and finding alternatives to conventionally used toxic materials has helped drive this change to a large extent. From flip flops, ladies shoes and sandals for women to men’s slippers and casual shoes for men, cork and old tyres are working their magic, one sole at a time. Here’s the lowdown on their benefits as raw materials in footwear:
- They are eco-friendly
In case we did not make it clear right at the beginning, here’s a reiteration. Upcycling saves tonnes of waste materials from ending up in landfills; and this is workable waste that can potentially add value to our lives. With so many tyres being carelessly discarded and even burnt, this method gives the material a new lease of life, thereby reducing waste. Cork is a naturally occurring material derived from the cork oak tree; it’s renewable, chemical-free and non-polluting. Together these materials make a strong case for eco-friendly footwear.
- They are vegan
Veganism is good for the planet and it’s a lifestyle choice limited not just to food; it also extends to everyday fashion right down to the shoes you’re wearing. Conventional footwear is primarily made of leather, and the downsides of this include polluted water bodies. On the other hand, using cork and old tyres not only rules out instances of animal cruelty and pollutants, but they also turn your regular sandals into sustainable vegan shoes. And that’s no mean feat!
- They are durable
Cork, for instance, has a high friction coefficient, which in simpler terms means it is more resistant to friction and is less susceptible to wear and tear, as compared to leather. Cork is also water-resistant, so it’s less likely to fall apart when in contact with moisture even for prolonged periods; it also has the added benefits of being scratch and stain proof and odour resistant as well. Rubber from upcycled tyres has excellent water-proofing properties and provides great flexibility, even as cork gives a soft finish. Thanks to these unique properties, these shoes last longer and age better.
- They provide better support
Cork has high elasticity, so when the material is packed into the base of your footwear, it provides great cushioning, thereby helping you maintain a comfortable stride. This extra support, in turn, minimises the strain on your ankle, knee and back, so your posture is better, and your chances of contracting pain or injury are less.
- They are cheaper
Who wouldn’t want to lay their hands on aesthetically designed affordable vegan shoes? Not only do cork and upcycled tyres help make sustainable footwear, they also make sure it’s cheaper than regular leather-based shoes, while also providing employment opportunities to the semi-skilled labour segment.