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Shoemaker Hugs&Co gets into step over waste tyres

The words “upcycled” and “repurposed” are not typically associated with luxury fashion items but a new shoe collection from Hugs&Co is aiming to change that.

‘Millions of scrap tyres pile up every year,’ say owners Benjie and Hugo Davis, who see the material as an as-yet untapped source for the shoes of the future. The London-based company has now created a range in which recycled tyre fragments become soles.

‘All the components are sourced from suppliers in Europe and the construction of each pair takes place in Portugal,’ the brothers add. ‘Only a fraction of the energy used to produce new soles is required to convert the waste tyres into usable parts.’

Their first product is the British Driving Loafer. ‘Upcycled waste tyre material is combined with Italian leather and British design to create the first line of environmentally conscious luxury footwear,’ the entrepreneurs state.

The rubber used would have otherwise been burned or landfilled. By re-routing the rubber to the fashion industry, Hugs&Co is able to reduce the environmental damage that would otherwise have been caused.

The sustainable soles ‘are not a compromise’, say the brothers, because they deliver both comfort and the appeal consumers expect from a premium shoe brand.

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