After three years of R&D – largely to find separable materials – the French sports equipment manufacturer Salomon is introducing this spring its first recycled and recyclable shoe, a road-running model designed to balance performance against the demands of the circular economy.
The 285-gram Index.01 has the R.Camber rockered design for heel-to-toe transitions, a molded sock liner and a drop of 9mm. But it is also part of the brand’s Play Minded Program for sustainability, taking its cues from a predecessor: the Concept Shoe released in late 2019 as Salomon’s first attempt at a recycled shoe. While the upper is made of recycled polyester, the bottom uses a new proprietary thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) called Infiniride.
The two components are recycled separately when the shoe is dismantled, the upper going toward fabric manufacturing, and the bottom being ground down for re-use as regional needs dictate. In Europe, for instance, the TPU grounds will serve for the production of alpine ski boots. The recycling program needed to be regional, because of the difficulties of recycling TPU in North America. Customers seeking to get rid of their shoes can visit www.salomon.com, print a shipping label and post their shoes to the nearest collection center free of charge. As of this spring, all Salomon shoes will have FSC-certified packaging from sustainable and legal sources.