The footwear industry continues to take eco-friendly steps.
Austin Footwear Labs, a new high-tech, environmentally conscious company, has launched a line of sandals with outsoles made out of upcycled scrap tires.
The series of flip-flops feature APX, a patented virgin-rubber substitute developed and produced by sister company Austin Rubber and said to be as durable as new rubber.
“Every year, 300 million scrap tires are generated in North America alone, and it is our mission to provide an economically competitive and earth-friendly alternative to junking them,” said Austin Footwear Labs President Fitz Lee. “We are setting a new standard for footwear where true sustainability matters as much as quality, comfort and style.”
The launch collection focuses on the popular flip-flop silhouette and taps into the company’s roots in Austin, Texas, for design inspiration. The 21 style has a map of 1921-era Austin printed on a soft nubuck upper. All of the styles have EVA footbeds and midsoles for enhanced cushioning. And to make the tire connection even stronger, the bottoms of the soles resemble a tire tread.
The collection retails for $70 and is available on Austinfootwear.com. The shoes are delivered in eco-friendly packaging, with shipping labels that are stamped instead of printed.