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Do you actually know if the footwear you’re buying is eco-friendly?

There isn’t still in the market a certification label that effectively guarantees consumers that the shoes they’re buying are manufactured with recycled materials and, therefore, eco-friendly. Well, that’s about to change.

According to a report from Quantis, footwear is on the fifth place on the list of “Environmental Impact of the Global Apparel and Footwear Industries”, although representing less than a 10th of the overall industry’s value. However, the use of recycled materials within the footwear industry and the sustainable production has been increasingly gaining relevance.

Reducing the footwear ecological footprint is currently a consumers’ demand and is increasingly becoming a relevant factor in the purchasing decisions. It’s also increasingly important to guarantee that the products are actually produced in an environmentally friendly way and that recycled materials are effectively from a waste recovery stream.

Aware of the consumers’ difficulty in not having a certification label, ISI Soles, a company that dedicates itself to the production of footwear soles, has implemented in the organization of its RCS - Recycled Claim Standard norm, through a certification transaction system issued by an external entity, a certification for recycled raw materials that come from its own waste stream. This way, ISI Soles is the first Portuguese company with the RCS - Recycled Claim Standard certification for its recycled TPU and TR.

If the whole footwear production chain implements the RCS - Recycled Claim Standard norm, the shoes will be certified and the final customer will know exactly what is buying and what recycled materials the shoes have incorporated. It will be a disruptive change in the footwear market.
ISI Soles is able to reduce its waste stream and give it a new life by incorporating the waste with virgin material. This incorporation is controlled, so there’s no decrease in the raw materials’ properties.

Vítor Mendes, ISI Soles’ CEO, states that “as this norm is already widely used in the textile sector, we thought it was time to implement in the footwear sector a system that guarantees the sustainability of the product to the final customer. With this certification, we not only value our soles but also help the footwear sector by valuing its sustainable products”. The CEO also highlights that “after obtaining the environmental norm ISO 14001, the adoption of the RCS- Recycled Claim Standard is one step forward towards the company's goal of being zero waste”.

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