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The end justifies the means

When thinking about the eco-design of a shoe, the end of life is one of the key elements to consider: how will the shoe deteriorate once it is no longer usable? Can it be recycled?


A shoe has a more or less long life depending on the quality of the materials, manufacture, maintenance, frequency and type of use. For example, a running shoe will deteriorate after 800km of running.


Today, recycling techniques are appearing to extend the life of rubber soles, for example. These innovative techniques are great advances but still have weaknesses:

First of all, to create new rubber soles from recycled material, new material must be created to solidify the whole. Up to 70% of a sole can be recycled. The other 30% will still be new rubber that is put into production and usually it is of fossil origin (plastic).

The second limitation is that industrial rubber is not infinitely recyclable. The process is complex and the rubber is damaged until it becomes unusable and ends up in the bin. It is the same problem for all synthetic materials such as polyester and elastane. These materials are not biodegradable and will exist for hundreds of years in nature to end up in the seas, air and oceans.

The notion of biodegradability is therefore essential when thinking about ecodesign.

Working with natural materials brings a new way to the end of life of our products. Our Bzzz sole maker talks about providing a "beautiful end of life" and we find this so poetic. Finding solutions to counteract this problem and create a zero plastic trainer was our number one challenge for the Bzzz.

Our soles are made of 100% vegetable matter. It has the EN13432 OK compost label. This certifies its biodegradable nature.

In concrete terms, to have this label, a product must biodegrade by 90% in 6 months under industrial composting conditions. (no, it will not be destroyed at your feet or in your personal compost). The Bzzz sole deteriorates completely in 180 days (80% in the soil and 20% in the air). This is a phenomenal step forward in the fight against pollution from the fashion industry. For this sole, we are already in contact with industrial composters to launch the "machine" of returning Bzzz soles to the earth. You will be asked to return your shoes to us to start the process.

This sole costs 2.5x more than a traditional sole made in Europe in recyclable (but not biodegradable) rubber. It is 4 to 5 times more expensive than a sole vulcanised in Asia. This is the price to pay to create a "good end of life" for our shoes.


Because the end justifies the means.


The Bzzz is available on the Supergreen website until 23 April


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