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Industry Talk

Brand backing for Dutch footwear recycler

Project will explore the potential for the large scale diversion of the industry’s waste.

25th July 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Amsterdam

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

Amsterdam-based Fashion for Good and its brand partners adidas, Inditex, Target and Zalando are involved in a new pilot project with footwear recycler FastFeetGrinded, based in Heerhugowaard, Netherlands, to test and validate its footwear recycling process and support the uptake of recycled content in new footwear.

FastFeetGrinded has developed a recycling installation that pulverizes and separates footwear and can treat waste from three main sources – unused materials or residues during the production process, sample shoes that have never been worn,but are not for sale, or simply old shoes which can no longer be worn,  It is recycling 100% of the waste and delivering the resources as granules back to markets for rubber, foam, fluff, fibres and leather.

“This project will be a first in the footwear industry to allow us to understand the sustainable recycling technologies and infrastructures needed to accelerate the transition towards a circular future,” said Katrin Ley, managing director of Fashion for Good. “By fostering collaborative partnerships like this, where companies come together to share knowledge and validate innovation, we are paving the way for scalable solutions.”

Globally, 24 billion shoes are added to the market each year, and 90% end up either landfilled or incinerated.

Through the collaborative pilot, the partners will divert pre and post-consumer footwear to FastFeetGrinded, which will transform them into various new material granulates.

An extensive network of supply chain partners will then produce components such as outsoles, midsoles and flip flops from them. The brands will closely evaluate quality and purity, aiming to pave the way for scalable solutions.

“As a frontrunner in circular footwear, we will show the world the endless possibility with our raw material granulates,” said Danny Pormes, CEO of FastFeetGrinded.

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