Sustainable fashion
Neonyt Fashion Sustain 2019 ©Daniel Gebhardt Photography Neonyt Fashion Sustain 2019 ©Daniel Gebhardt Photography

Cooperation for sustainable shoe production

Under the title “The Future of Eco-Conscious Footwear Manufacturing”, Texpertise Network of Messe Frankfurt presented a method for sustainable shoe production at the Neonyt trade fair. This is achieved through the cooperation of three manufacturers. Lenzing AG, Procalçado SA and Santoni SPA have joined forces to prove that sustainable shoe production is not only possible, but also scalable.

Sustainable shoe production from fibre to sole

The outcome is a process that leads to less water consumption, whilst avoiding plastic waste. The manufacturing method applied through this cooperation is based on on-demand production, combined with the use of resource-saving materials.

Lenzing AG, for example, contributes with TENCEL™, a wood-based fibre produced with less water, carbon dioxide and chemicals than conventional textiles. With the X Machine, Santoni supplies a circular knitting machine that enables the production of a one-piece upper with the revolutionary seamless and ‘no-waste’ 3D Intarsia technology. By applying the ‘zero-waste’ concept, Santoni produces entirely in keeping with the concept of sustainability. Procalçado is responsible for supplying the soles, which are made from PURA LATEX® raw material. The company finds the material marketed under the trade name “For Ever” in the trunks of rubber trees (Hevea) from controlled cultivation. Combined with industrial waste materials of natural origin or Tencel Lyocell powder, the result is a sole for sustainable footwear. “When we met, we noticed that we share the same vision about sustainability”, says Giovanna Fanelli of the sales department at Santoni SPA about the origin of the cooperation between the three companies. The work on the manufacturing process took about one year.

“It is now up to the brands”

With this method, it is possible to manufacture eco-friendly shoes by reducing water consumption, the use of chemicals and excess production to a minimum. This production process developed by the three companies was presented to the public for the first time within the scope of Neonyt trade fair at the “Innovation Roadshow” of the Texpertise Network. It shows that sustainable shoe production has become a present reality. “It is now up to the brands to introduce sustainable manufacturing processes”, says Fanelli. Furthermore, the cooperation of the three companies is a good example of the fact that constructive cooperation can create win-win situations both for humans and the environment.

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