When you think of tires, images of a car maneuvering through standing water or gripping gravel might come to mind. And for good reason — that’s what tires are for. From an environmental vantage point, though, rubber tires are a hazard. Because many of them are mixed with steel reinforcement, they are not recyclable by traditional means. Sending them to the landfill is expensive, therefore many of them end up dumped on the side of the road. They can, however, be repurposed, and that is just what one innovative company has done with its stylish new loafers.
Hugs & Co., a London-based company, has recently unveiled a loafer that uses waste tire rubber for the shoe’s sole. As a luxury offering, the Tyre Sole Driving Loafers promote the material as a step up from other loafers, even the shoe’s own previous versions, with a traction and durability that is trademark of tire materials. Founder Hugo Davis said, “All too often the decision to select environmentally conscious components leads to a compromise in quality, here it actually enhances the product.”
The company states that the production of the material requires a fraction of the energy usage traditionally required in the manufacturing of shoe soles. Continuing with the sustainability zeitgeist, Hugs & Co. aims to make a product that is versatile and long-lasting. It believes that making products last longer is good for the planet.
Although labeled a driving loafer, the Tyre Sole, or TS1 is a comfortable and adaptable option for casual day at the office, an afternoon at the beach or a night out with friends. Reminiscent of a moccasin, the Tyre Sole Driving Loafers come in a few styles and colors in men’s sizes.
The materials for the TS1 are all sourced within Europe, including hand-selected Italian suede along with a natural leather interior. The first run of this loafer sourced end-of-life reclaimed tires from Michelin in Spain. Each loafer is hand-stitched for a personal and thorough approach to quality. The upcycled tire material makes for a long-lasting sole.
Hugs & Co. was established in 2012 by brothers Benjie and Hugo Davis, and the company produces a full line of shoes for men and women as well as cell phone accessories.
Images via Hugs & Co.