Blog Home

Closing the loop at Rothy’s.

We’re continuing to close the loop. Check out the latest from our Head of Sustainability.

Dear community, 

At Rothy’s, we’ve always been on a continuous quest for better. We started out with the radical idea that plastic bottles could become shoes—and since then,
we continue to innovate through our materials, design and production. We built our own factory, where we’ve repurposed millions of plastic water bottles and over 200,000 pounds of ocean-bound marine plastic into shoes, bags
and accessories. And now, we’re ready to take an even bigger step towards
a zero-waste future.

What does that mean? At the simplest level, our goal is closing the loop—creating products from recycled materials and eventually recycling those products into something new. The apparel industry currently creates a staggering amount of waste, and we’re in a unique position to do something about it. We are looking at every step in the journey of a product: the materials, the production, the durability, and finally, how it can be recycled. 

Our goal is to examine every aspect of our products’ lifecycle and fill in any gaps. From the beginning, we've worked towards circularity, but closing the loop is our biggest leap yet. To get there, we've set ambitious goals for the next three years—and we're well on our way to achieving them.

Our recycling pilot program. 

In 2021, Rothy’s will launch a recycling pilot program—starting small,
and eventually scaling up to a more sophisticated takeback program.
Footwear recycling is notoriously complex, so Rothy’s is convening
an expert group of scientists and thought-leaders to create end-of-wear
solutions for ourselves and to share with the broader industry.

As of August 2021, we have completed phase one of our recycling project exploration, where we identified how to deconstruct our shoes into recyclable pieces. Now, we’re transitioning to phase two: Figuring out how to best scale this program. We’re on track to launch our recycling pilot program to the public by the end of 2021. As we roll out our program to the public, you can follow along for all the latest updates on our recycling pilot program here.

Twice-recycled materials. 

We already carefully consider each material we use, and our goal in 2022
is to begin incorporating twice-recycled materials into new products—deconstructing and reclaiming used materials to create something new.

A zero-waste factory. 

In 2022, Rothy’s will also pursue zero-waste certification at our workshop.
This means that we’ll expand on existing waste minimization practices
in all areas of the factory. 

Full circular production. 

Rothy’s 2023 goal is our most ambitious yet. Not only will our products
be crafted with majority recycled, twice-recycled and bio-based materials,
but every product Rothy’s puts into the world will have an end-of-wear solution. We’ll also move closer to a carbon neutral footprint by reducing our emissions directly and investing in nature-based solutions.

This is unchartered territory, and we know that it won’t be a perfect process—but our mission will drive us. We’re ready to push the industry forward towards
a closed-loop future, and we’re excited to have you on this journey with us.

— Saskia van Gendt, Head of Sustainability

To learn more about what sustainability means to us, head to our sustainability page for the details on our materials, manufacturing and more. 

More Stories

The Hemp Shoe & Bag Edit at Rothy's

Interest in using sustainable materials for fashion continues to grow, and hemp has emerged as a frontrunner in the quest for green alternatives. As a renewable resource that requires minimal...
Read more