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Up-cycled shoes

High quality material waste can be recovered and up-cycled to make good low cost shoes and sandals.

Photo of Angel Landeros
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Repurpose Nike grind materials into new footwear.  Shoes and sandals using high quality ground rubber and bonded leather made from full grain leather scraps  would provide an opportunity for environmentally conscious consumer.  It could also provide the basic footwear building materials for low cost products that could help low income families and communities meet one of their basic  needs. 

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Rubber Outsoles
  • Rubber Flashings
  • Rubber Granulate
  • EVA Foam Injection Scraps
  • EVA Foam Flashings
  • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks
  • EVA Foam Components
  • Full Grain Leather Scraps

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

Using compression molding and other similar processes used to create flooring slabs, simple soles can be made for sandals and shoes. These soles could be incorporated in final shoes by Nike or sold as starting materials for other smaller companies or communities to build their own. Meanwhile, full grain leather scraps, could be sent to be repurposed into bonded leather that can then be returned to form the topside of the shoe or sent as well as raw material to other creators to make their own products.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

Grind materials finely and use a molding press to make soles or full sandals. Leather particles can be used to create bonded leather that can then be used to make uppers and straps.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Low income families and communities and environmentally conscious consumers that will hace the benefit of good quality product at an accessible price.

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

Using the scale of Nike operations, they could manufacture standard rubber soles and bonded leather sheets. These shoes would not be high performance and, as bonded leather is not as durable as full grain they would not be as durable. If these materials don't meet Nike's standards, they could be donated or sold at a recovery price to allow smaller manufacturers to provide low cost footwear.

What inspired this idea?

The Tarahumara sandals made out of old tires

In what city are you located?


In what country are you located?


Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

Create more awareness on the possibility to provide an under-served community with new options to meet their basic needs for footwear


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