Fashion for Good and Leading Brands Join Forces for Circular Footwear

Fashion for Good launches new pilot with brand partners adidas, Inditex, Target and Zalando, and footwear recycling innovator FastFeetGrinded to test and validate the innovative footwear recycling process to support the uptake of recycled content in footwear, driving the change towards a more circular footwear industry.

“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. By fostering collaborative partnerships like this, where companies come together to share knowledge and validate innovation, we pave the way for scalable solutions.” — Katrin Ley, Managing Director, Fashion for Good

Globally, 24 billion shoes are added to the market each year1, and a staggering 90% of shoes are either landfilled or incinerated2. To tackle this challenge, Fashion for Good has launched a new pilot with partners adidas, Inditex, Target and Zalando, in collaboration with innovator FastFeetGrinded, aiming to test and validate the footwear recycling process and support the uptake of recycled materials in footwear. FastFeetGrinded possesses the unique capability to deconstruct any type of pre- and post-consumer shoe, breaking it down into its macro-components. These macro-components are then subsequently grinded down into smaller high purity granulates which FastFeetGrinded may use to create material streams for repurposed use.

Through this collaborative pilot, the partners will divert pre- and post-consumer footwear to FastFeetGrinded, who will transform them into various new material granulates. The next step involves FastFeetGrinded’s extensive network of supply chain partners, who will produce output products, such as outsoles, midsoles, and flip flops. The brands will closely evaluate the products’ quality and purity, aiming to showcase the potential of FastFeetGrinded’s footwear recycling technology and 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.” — Danny Pormes, CEO of FastFeetGrinded 

With the demand for raw materials expected to triple by 20503, urgent action is needed to reduce the dependence on virgin resources4. FastFeetGrinded, as a key recycling innovator, plays a crucial role in providing the industry with secondary raw materials, catering to the rising market demand and regulatory requirements for recycled content. To meet demand, FastFeetGrinded operates in a 4000 square metre facility, and are already planning global expansion of their facilities. 

1. World Footwear Yearbook (2020). Footwear production with a new record of 24.3 billion pairs. Available here.
2. Vivobarefoot. 22 billion pairs of shoes are dumped into landfill each year. It’s time for change. Available here.
3. WRAP (2019) Valuing our Clothes. Available here.
4. Material Innovation Initiative (2021). 2021 State of the Industry Report: Next-Gen Materials. Available here