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Rothy’s Debuts Eco-Friendly Sneaker Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles

Rothy’s is seizing the casual-luxury zeitgeist

The San Francisco–based footwear brand, which hawks the comfy-cute ballet flats and loafers plastered all over social media, has just released its first-ever sneaker, one that the company hails a “wardrobe game changer.”

Rothy’s crafts each of its shoes using post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, which it fuses into filaments, spins into yarn, then treats with a proprietary moisture-wicking agent. It produces the uppers using a three-dimensional knitting technique, similar to Nike’s Flyknit, that creates no seams and zero material waste.

Other components share the same sustainable spin. The insoles comprise recycled foam and injection-molded soles are made of carbon-free rubber. Even the glues are nontoxic and vegan-friendly. Bonus: The shoes are machine washable, if not machine dryable.

Like its predecessors, the Van-like slip-on comes in a slate of eye-popping colors, including electric lemon and washed pink. New to the sneaker, however, is a removable midsole, which can be replaced with a more arched or cushier version.

The sneaker costs $125, the same as its rounded-toe flat but a smidge less than its pointed-toe flat ($145) and loafer ($165). Rothy’s also has a line of scaled-down girls’ loafers, in sizes 10 to 4, that retail at an equally diminutive $65.

Rothy’s has grown from strength to strength since Roth Martin, who ran a design gallery, and Stephen Hawthornthwaite, a 16-year veteran of the finance industry, founded it three years ago.

In addition to 50 employees in the United States, Rothy’s manages more than 400 in a 65,000-square-foot factory in China it owns and operates, meaning it controls all of its manufacturing and can tweak its retail assortment to mirror demand.

While Rothy’s began as a digitally native, direct-to-consumer brand, it opened its first brick-and-mortar store on Fillmore Street, just two miles from San Francisco’s iconic Jackson Square, earlier this year.