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Clarks drops glue from recycling-friendly shoes

UK company Clarks has unveiled a new shoe collection designed to reduce waste and improve recyclability. The ‘Origin’ range contains no glue with each shoe made from five pieces that can be dissembled at the end-of-life stage.

Clarks says the traditional inclusion of glue in the manufacturing process is what makes recycling them such a challenge. The soles are made from 51% recycled content while the laces are 100% recycled polyester and mono-material nylon thread. The inner sole uses recycled ethylene-vinyl acetate and recycled rubber.

Clarks’ chief marketing officer Tara McRae says the brand is known for quality and durability that supports sustainable fashion. ‘But we still have a lot to work on. We are on a journey to becoming more sustainable every day, from sourcing more sustainable materials to supporting better working conditions for the people who make our shoes.

‘Our brand-new shoe ‘Origin’ is just one great example of what we can achieve as a business, designing for a more sustainable future.’

McRae estimates that 300 million pairs of shoes are thrown away worldwide every year. Around 85% of the shoes discarded in the UK annually end up in landfills or incinerators.

Meanwhile, the virgin leather components of the shoes are sourced from tanneries that have committed to reduce their CO2 footprint.

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