We’ve never been more conscious about the consequences of pollution and the (way too) fast environmental degradation as we are nowadays. Over 220 million tons of plastic is produced per year, of which 8 million end up in the ocean. The concerns regarding marine species, due to their intake of plastic in the sea are on top of the agenda. Over billion birds and 100.000 marine mammals die every year due to plastic residues. According to a study by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), 95% of the floating waste on the Mediterranean Sea are plastic and reach record levels of contamination. Within the scope of World Oceans Day, ONU emphasized the “8 million tons of plastic that end up in the ocean each year, severely harming the wild life”.
Therefore, along with sustainability as a main priority, several brands are concerned about this issue. There are already some emerging projects related to the issue in the footwear industry. As is the case of Zouri: two friends from Minho got together and created a footwear brand from plastic bottles picked up on the beach. “Unless we take action, by 2050 our oceans will contain more plastic than fish.”, one can read at the brand’s website.
The dream of cleaning the ocean came from walks on the beach. Adriana Mano e António Barros, both linked to the footwear sector decided to transform the plastic bottles and fishnets leftovers into summer footwear. “Each pair of sandals or slippers has between 80 to 100 grams of plastic, which means 8 or 10 bottles”, states Adriana.
In technical terms, the brand doesn’t integrate any animal product. From the cork to the rubber, all raw materials are natural. The formula for the incorporation of plastic on the sole was the responsibility of the University of Minho and an artisan from Guimarães, Henrique Dias, took care of the production and brought the shoes to life.
In April, the Municipality of Esposende has joined the project and organized an initiative to clean the beach. The gathered plastic, approximately 1500kg, was delivered to Zouri to be shredded and turned into raw material. The footwear is already available for sale at the brand’s website: www.zourishoes.com.