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Trending: Tires Find New Life in Stunning Furniture, Durable Shoe Soles

Retyred ORIGINAL furniture made from end-of-life tires and teak wood. | Image credit: Retyred ORIGINAL

Some 290 million tires are discarded each year in the U.S. alone, and they can be a challenge to recycle. Still, these days as much as 80 percent are reused or recycled in some way, such as for tire-derived fuel (TDF) or retreads (which use much less oil and other resources to produce than new tires), but these solutions can come with further environmental concerns such as increased air pollution and microplastic contamination.

Innovative designers are responding with unique and beautiful alternative uses for end-of-life tires.

Click to enlarge. Retyred ORIGINAL storage baskets and flower pots. | Image credit: Retyred ORIGINAL

Australian-Austrian duo Monica Corser and Bernhard Kudernatsch, for example, have been upcycling old tires into furniture for the past six years. Their company, Retyred ORIGINAL, designs and produces a range of handmade outdoor and indoor chairs, tables, flower pots and storage containers such as trunks and baskets. After significant investments into manufacturing, Kudersnatcsch says they are “now at an excellent level to produce for the world market.”

Among other products, Corser designed the “Teak and Tyre” product line for the company’s international market launch. The simple but distinctive designs combine the two very durable materials – teak wood and old tires – into comfortable and appealing pieces, thanks to the flexibility of the rubber and a look that could be mistaken for black leather.

The cream-colored nubuck version of OTH sneakers. | Image credit: OTH Paris

Meanwhile, a French company has set out to produce unique unisex sneakers with “everlasting soles” made from recycled tires. After two years of development, OTH-Paris début shoes have been released on Kickstarter.

One tire is recycled for every three pairs of OTH sneakers. Each shoe’s footprint is unique, cut directly from an end-of-life tire. The body of the shoes is crafted from highly durable, chromium-free Italian leather and natural rubber, while the lining and insole are also 100 percent leather. The insoles are embossed with the OTH logo and are removable.

The grey suede version of OTH sneakers. | Image credit: OTH-Paris

The shoes are handmade by a team of twelve in a factory in Portugal, which was chosen for its expertise, good working conditions, fair wages and avoidance of toxic materials during production.

The launch offers a minimalist design in three color options: white nappa leather, grey suede, and cream-colored nubuck. Each design also includes the GPS coordinates of an unusual or relatively unknown place on its heels, such as a hidden beach in the Landes in France, which the company says is an invitation to escape, adventure and explore.

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