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Published on Friday, 10 December 2010

Feature: Good for the sole

Written by Haydn Davis

plusfoamCalifornia-based PLUS Compound Technologies has developed a range of new sustainable products to replace EVA, PU and rubber. Kathlyn Swantko reports.

According to recent estimates from the American Apparel & Footwear Association, the number of shoes produced worldwide in 2009 was 14.36 billion pairs, the majority of which were made using non-recyclable components that will end up in landfills.

Although several major footwear brands have implemented procedures to become more sustainable in their production processes, such as the use of low-VOC paints and finishes and the replacement of chemical solvent cements with water-based adhesives, these programs have had minimal impact on the billions of shoes being produced each year.