You'll Never Believe What These Eco-Friendly Shoes Are Made Of

Plastic bottles, trash and pineapple leaf are some of the odd components used to make these kicks.

February 16, 2017
avocado shoes
Matt Rainey

Shoes made out of garbage?! It's unexpected, but true (along with pineapple leaf and CO2 emissions!) We rounded up five companies who are rethinking how the shoe industry works and making great strides in creating sustainable, beautiful footwear. 

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insecta shoe
1/5 Matt Rainey

Avocado shoes? We'll take five. Born from a distaste for the fashion industry’s waste, Brazil’s Insecta creates smartly designed vegan Oxfords and boots covered in fun, bright patterns like avocados and grapefruit, all from thrift-store finds, plastic bottles, and discarded rubber.

Related: How To Waterproof Your Canvas Shoes In Minutes

Rothy's shoes
2/5 Photograph courtesy of Rothys

San Francisco-based Rothy’s puts trash to good use in its comfy, seamless flats. Each shoe is knit to fit using three recycled water bottles in just six minutes, completely eliminating scrap waste thanks to 3-D knitting technology. 

pineapple leaf shoe
3/5 Photograph courtesy of ananas anam

For some truly sweet kicks, there’s fruit leather for your feet via London’s Piñatex, a natural textile made from pineapple leaf fibers that mimics the look and feel of hide. 

Related: 8 Effective Solutions For Bunion Pain

carbon dioxide shoes
4/5 Photograph courtesy of NRG
Shoe Without A Footprint

Closing the loop altogether, American energy company NRG manufactured the Shoe Without a Footprint out of solidified CO2 emissions. While not for sale, the sporty shoe model demonstrates how CO2 can be captured at the source and then turned into the chemical base that comprises the polymer the shoe’s foam is made of. 

Related: 10 Natural Ways To Keep Your Sweaty Summer Shoes From Stinking

zappos box
5/5 Matt Rainey

This one is all about the shoebox instead of the shoe. Las Vegas-based Zappos’ #ImNotABox campaign encourages customers to reuse its cardboard creatively by covering each box with instructions to make it into a smartphone holder, geometric planter, or even “your most awkward friend,” a standup 3-D llama. Aw, hi little llama friend.