I’ve been noticing a recycled tire trend. Combining creativity with eco-friendly intentions to make usable goods, bike tire tires and tubes are being upcycled and popping up in unusual places. Not surprising, since according to Recycle To Cycle:
“In the last five years an estimated 18 million bicycles per year were sold in the United States and as we all know each bike comes with two tires and two inner tubes meaning over 36 million tires and inner tubes per year are being shipped into the United States.”
Tire Tread Sneakers
Do you know about Simple shoes? The company thrives to be 100% sustainable. Their products are created from eco-friendly materials -- recycled paper, hemp, organic cotton, recycled rubber bike inner tubes, rubber tire tread, wool…they even use coconut shells for buttons. From the Simple website:
“HOW we make our shoes is just as important as WHY we make them. That means finding more sustainable ways of doing business so we can make a gazillion more. Which pretty much is where we are today...at the crossroads of here and now, aware of our responsibility to the planet while trying to pay the bills. The nice little shoe company getting in touch with its inner hippie.”
I’ve been smitten with these Simple sneakers - the ones made from hemp with tire tread soles. I must confess, I quietly admired them on my daughter first. So I copied her. While I am certainly inspired by my daughter’s funky sense of style, I rarely out and out copy her. For instance, she wears the best jeans. But the zippers on her jeans are maybe two inches long. I need about three times that length.
I now have three pairs of these Simple sneakers. First, I purchased a gray pair (I wear them with off-white laces). They are my favorite. These almost perfect sneakers go with everything but white pants, so I needed a white pair. Love the white ones. And now that it’s cooler out, I decided I must have a pair in black leather. When I wear them, my son tells me they look like hipster shoes. But I’ve decided they are the perfect dress sneaker. Plus, they channel my inner hippie. Hot or not?
Bike Inner Tube Jewelry
That same son, who now thinks his mother is a hipster, is also a biking enthusiast. He’s replacing inner tubes right and left...so the necklace piqued my interest. I did not purchase this necklace, but it does intrigue me. Hot or not?
Bike Inner Tube Crochet Rug
What? You can crochet bike tubes? Well, I guess so – Michaela from We Upcycle shares how:
“I crocheted this door mat out of old, broken bicycle tubes. After several attempts I found out that it’s the easiest way to use a tent peg. I cut out the valves and then slit the tubes lengthwise. Washing the tubes has to be done thoroughly because the valves are covered in a thick layer of powdered talc from the inside. Then you have to cut the tubes in stripes and either tack (like I did it) or sew them together. The result is a long “thread” which you just crochet and then you’re done.
Does this upcycled trend celebrate eco-design goodness? Hot or not?
Rug: We Upcycle