28 September 2023

Italy - Shoe recycling project turns old leather into new filler

Specialist ski and outdoor footwear group Scarpa has launched a new recycling project in which it will aim to collect 15,000 used pairs of its Mojito shoes in one year from customers across Europe, writes Leatherbiz.

It will deconstruct the Mojitos and use the materials to make new shoes.

Scarpa has said a key component of the project is a technique based on hydrolysis that reduces the leather recovered from the worn shoes to a collagenic material. The Veneto-based footwear company worked with a research team from the University of Bologna to develop this technique.

Another project partner, Castelfranco di Sotto-based leather manufacturer Conceria Sciarada, will use this collagenic material as a filler in its production processes. In other words, residue from the leather in the old shoes will contribute to the manufacture of new leather for new shoes.

Other materials that the project generates will go into footbeds, midsoles, and devulcanized rubber outsoles, toe and heel reinforcements for new footwear. Scarpa has said the new shoes it will make from the recovered materials will have up to 70% recycled materials in their composition.

Retail partners in France, Germany, Austria and Italy will collect the old Mojitos and help give a second life to the materials they are made from.

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