Chinese polyurethane heavyweight Huafon showcased its newly developed shoe sole made from recycled material at PU China 2019.
Roughly 30 percent of the sole is made from recycled footwear — defective or offcut pieces — and the company expects to increase that 40 percent, according to New Materials' tech manager Xia Yuechang.
Recycled materials, Xia said, may come from other PU products in the future.
"Leisure and sportswear is our fastest growing downstream segment as Chinese consumers are increasingly appreciative of comfort," Xia said. "You don't see that many ladies wearing high heels today. We expect the segment to show two-digit growth over the next three to five years."
Huafon already is in talks with domestic and overseas footwear brands, and hopes to commercialize this technology within two years.
"The cost won't be low, so we are looking for brands that share our view of social responsibility," Xia said.