These 3D-Printed, Machine-Washable Sneakers Are Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles

Oliver Cabell is hoping to shake up the luxury sneaker game with their eco-friendly new kicks.
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Publish date:
SELECTS-11

Brooklyn-based minimalist sneaker brand Oliver Cabell  just launched 3D-printed sneakers made entirely from recycled plastics that they hope will kickstart a new trend in eco-conscious footwear.

Basic environmental facts about the 300 million tons of plastic made every year are kind of a bummer: Only a measly 9 percent of those bottles we toss ever actually gets recycled.

oliver-cabell-recycle-sneakers

And plastic is forever. Not the good forever, either, like diamonds—it's just eternal garbage, always polluting something somewhere: the ocean, full of microbeads, or the earth, where it's a buried and inorganic barrier to life above and below. 

Phoenix sneakers in the white colorway

Phoenix sneakers in the white colorway

So Oliver Cabell has, after two years of research into how they can be part of the solution rather than the plastics problem, created the Phoenix. It's a sneaker made on a 3D printer out of recycled plastic bottles. 

Oliver Cabell founder Scott Gabrielson says the brand's mission "has always been fairly simple...to marry the finest design, materials, and process with the latest technology, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses. We feel that the Phoenix is the culmination of what we’ve been striving for since we launched.”

Phoenix sneakers in black

Phoenix sneakers in black

Here's how Oliver Cabell does it, according to their announcement:

The process starts with recycled bottles that are sterilized, washed, and cut into flakes that are spun into a fiber. That single piece of fused yarn then goes into a 3D knitting machine, which prints the material to shape inside the machine and comes out fully formed. Over seven recycled bottles are used to make one pair. 

Gabrielson says that the "process results in 80% less waste and a seamless upper with no cutting, stitching or discomfort."

The Phoenix line is totally machine-washable and the shoes have been designed, according to Gabrielson, to be "incredibly lightweight and comfortable. We couldn’t have it feel like you were wearing plastic."

They're also made to be worn sockless, and are moisture-wicking with an antibacterial lining.

Look for the Phoenix in black or white colorways. They are an affordable and environmentally-safe $95 and available only via olivercabell.com