Phoenix, the 3D printed trainers from plastic waste
A few days ago, the Oliver Cabell brand presented its first pair of 3D printed trainers made from recycled plastic bottles. Baptized Phoenix, these shoes were designed to address the growing problem of plastic waste. It is the upper part of the trainer that was 3D printed, the rest being produced using traditional manufacturing methods. A more sustainable approach that remains accessible since the pair is available in two colors, black and white, for a price of $95.
If 3D printing and footwear make up the pair, it should also be noted that 3D technologies can have a strong link with the environment and the preservation of our planet. Many initiatives promote recycling using a 3D printer; our August startup is developing machines to transform its plastic waste into 3D printing filaments. It must be said that with the 300,000 million tonnes of plastic waste produced each year, there is no lack of material. And yet only 9% is recycled today. Oliver Cabell is part of this small percentage by adding value to our waste.
After two years of research and development, Scott Gabrielson founded Oliver Cabell, who has a clear mission: “We have always wanted to combine the best designs, materials and processes with the latest technologies, while paving the way for socially responsible companies. We believe that Phoenix is the culmination of what we have been striving for since our launch.”
The Phoenix manufacturing process
The brand explains that it takes 7 plastic bottles to 3D print a shoe’s upper part. These bottles must first be sterilized and then washed; they are then crushed into small flakes, melted and cooled in order to be pressed to form long threads. It is these yarns that will serve as filaments and will therefore be extruded layer by layer to form part of the Phoenix. The company points out that this process reduces waste by 80% and results in a comfortable shoe that can be machine washed.
Scott Gabrielson, founder of Oliver Cabell, adds: “We wanted durability to be at the heart of Phoenix, but we knew it would be useless if the shoes were not light and comfortable. You couldn’t feel like you were wearing plastic. It took 48 samples to get it right. We had to find the perfect balance between softness, elasticity and structure.” He explains that Phoenixes can be worn in socks and include an antibacterial lining that wicks away moisture and a lightweight insole. Sneakers are available in black or white from $95. You can order them directly on Oliver Cabell’s website HERE.
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