A circular diagram of a forest with a pair of shoes in the middle.

Natural Fiber Welding Defines Circularity and Every Industry Should Listen

Existing definitions of circularity miss the mark. Download our latest white paper to learn how Earth’s natural circularity is the gold standard.

Source: How industry circularity definitions differ from nature and why it matters

Seeing our model of circularity in the recent report by Natural Fiber Welding is eye-opening and humbling. In the paper NFW explains that extending the life of sneakers is only a temporary solution. This is hard for the team at Sneaker Impact to hear but knowing makes us better. The link above offers one of the most complete definitions on how industry standards for claiming to be sustainable fall entirely short of true circularity. The blog post includes a white paper that provides an image of NFW’s circular strategy. In every household, business and school there is a poster of the fire triangle. Ask any child what three elements contribute to fire, and they can respond, oxygen, heat and fuel. The image of the fire triangle is embedded in the psyche of almost every person.

In the white paper from NFW there are several small flow charts assisting the research in establishing what circularity has been in every industry. What hit home for Sneaker Impact was the use of “temporary diversion from landfills.” We are proud of our EXLOS concept, but ultimately, we realize our solution is temporary. The sneaker industry by definition has claimed circularity, but in action, and in NFW’s explanation, the industry is centrifugal. What does this mean? Let’s use a car as an example. When a car does a doughnut there are marks left in the street. The marks show circles, the fact that the circles are visible are due to the centrifugal force creating friction. The remnant of that force is burned rubber or waste. The sneaker industry, although it is attempting to reuse and recycle, leaves residue on each pass. This isn’t circular. There are strands, microplastics, waste, breaking off and leaving behind elements damaging the environment.

While Sneaker Impact realizes our work is critical in helping people create microeconomies in underserved countries, we also recognize we have to seek alternative methods to limit the amount of waste created by the sneaker industry. In the near future we will share different strategies we are implementing to assist in diminishing the footprint created by our industry. Please take a moment to look at NFW’s research.

While we wish all sneakers could follow the path of true circularity with a bioneutral end of life cycle, we realize that many of you are looking to help us, help people. If you’d like to EXLOS, contact us for more information:

Sneaker Impact – Recycle your sneakers and be part of the sustainability movement!