Hankook pins recycling strategy on shoe soles
Hankook Treads on the Road and now the Sidewalk
Hankook Tire has worked with shoe brand Yase to launch a range of eco-friendly shoes made from recycled tyres as part of its dedication to making the world a greener place. To be fair to others, the concept isn’t new, even if the partnership is. Spanish Grupo Conforma have been providing recycled rubber from tyres to the show industry for over 20 years.
Yase is a leather shoes brand headquartered in Korea launched in 2013. Hankook Tire and YASE embarked on ‘ZERO – Leave nothing behind’ project with commitment to sustainable material and environmental protection. As sustainability is a core value and key agenda for Hankook, the company has taken the topic of tyre recycling as one of the top agendas each year. Noting that a major raw material of shoe outsole is rubber, Hankook collaborated with YASE based on the understanding of YASE sharing the same vision in terms of reducing environmental impact.
Hankook chose footwear as collaboration considering that both tyres and shoes share common traits of playing a crucial role in mobility and touching the ground on a daily basis.
Not only the shoes themselves but also the packaging is designed with sustainability in mind. The shoe box, tags and pamphlets are made of 100% sugarcane material. Hankook expects this will resonate with customers who are early adopters and are conscious about the environment.
Hankook has been at the frontier of innovation with its mission being ‘future innovated, innovation realised’. The company aims to realise the future that customers imagine through technological advancements and R&D investments which back up its breakthroughs. It is not the first time that Hankook Tire has presented footwear offerings through a cross-industry collaboration. Hankook had worked with Vibram, a premium outsole company, in 2015 to create concept tyres as well as shoes to garner recognition for its challenge spirit and innovative DNA.
Jimmy Kwon, Vice President of Hankook Tire’s Brand Lab says, “We are happy to announce the collaboration which leads to mutually inspired progressive innovation for both companies. It’s thrilling that we can help customers choose footwear that will contribute to making the world a greener place. It’s also great to see our tyres that have reached the end of their lives turning into outsoles of footwear to take people to where they want with much comfort like they did on vehicles. Shoes made of our old tyres will not only make a positive social impact but also will be hard-wearing and as robust as our tyres that are developed with high quality materials and cutting-edge technologies.”