NewSKY is a shoe made from Eco-fi 95% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. As part of a greater effort from New Balance to adopt more sustainable practices, newSKY represents an approach towards utilizing recycled materials to create footwear. Drew Speith, lead designer for New Balance Wellness says “A typical shoe has a lot of different types of materials. What’s really interesting about this is, aside from the foam and the little rubber components [on the outsole] and a little bit of water based glue, the only material here is the recycled fabric.” Fabric made from post-consumer plastic bottles was developed into a comfortable, well-designed shoe. “It was a big goal to keep it functional and looking stylish. In traditional shoe design, materials like plastic and leather provide shape and structure; however, the designers reduced the need for conventional reinforcements. Typically, a rigid counter would be used to support the heel, but here, the heel has been reinforced with strategic stitching along the back seam combined with a thicker weight of fabric. By working with the fabric’s distinctive features, the designers eliminated the need for many traditional, non-recycled materials.
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