Following a fair amount of hype, premium footwear label Oliver Cabell has finally launched its 3D printed Phoenix sneakers made from recycled plastic water bottles.
The Phoenix is described as an everyday shoe that’s light and breathable with cloud-like cushioning to fit your every move. The laces are made from organic cotton, the tongue microfibre and the cushioning kills odours. Although the talking point is the seven plastic bottles that go into each shoe.
Here’s how they do it: recycled plastic water bottles are received, washed, and shredded into small flakes. Those flakes are then melted down, cooled, and pressed through a die, forming long strands of yarn. The yarn is further refined and spun through a 3D printing machine, forming the upper of the shoe. Pair the upper with other premium materials and the result is a light and breezy machine-washable Phoenix sneaker.
Oliver Cabell is not the first brand to launch clothing and accessories made from recycled materials. Converse, PUMA, adidas and G-Star Raw all come to mind. We already know why brands are adopting recycled materials. Oliver Cabell might be the first to explain just how water bottles become shoes.
Three hundred million tons of plastic are produced every year, with only 9 per cent of it ever being recycled. The hard truth is that once the plastic is made, it stays on the planet forever. This plastic problem is enormous, but thinking outside the box can have a positive impact.
The Oliver Cabell 3D printed Phoenix sneaker is available now in black and white colourways for USD$95 per pair. Most Oliver Cabell designs are made in small batches, so it’s probably best to assume these sustainable shoes will sellout.
In other Oliver Cabell news, the footwear label recently debuted a shoe whitener, the first product exclusively created to revive white leather sneakers. From what we understand, this process is a little like buffing scratches out of a car.