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These shoes are made from upcycled sex toys

Finding fresh ways to use old materials will be the challenge that defines our generation. We need to drastically reduce the constant production of virgin plastics and polymers, especially in fashion, which is why one sustainable clothing brand started turning sex toys into shoes.

When it comes to upcycling in order to get closer to our sustainable living goals, no material can be off-limits.

That includes materials previously used to make sex toys, according to one brand based in Los Angeles, California. Rose In Good Faith (RIGF) is a clothing, accessory, and shoe brand whose ethos is rooted in living in harmony with the planet and one another.

Its founder, David Teitelbaum, decided to partner with America’s largest adult toy manufacturer Doc Johnson after taking a tour of its factory. While there, he spotted numerous toys that would be shredded for failing to pass quality assurance tests.

Hoping to bring new life to the material, RIGF and Doc Johnson collaborated over the course of two years to find a feasible, stylish way to create footwear out of discarded toys. The result is a line of shoes called Plastic Soul.

Its tagline? ‘Stop F*cking Mother Nature.’

When adult toys from Doc Johnson fail to pass pre-sale inspections, they’re fed into a machine which shreds them into millimetre-sized cubes. Being rubber-like, they’re highly elastic, which makes them durable and bouncy.

David Teitelbaum remarked that the discarded cubes reminded him of Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) pellets, which share the same properties. Unsurprisingly, EVA is a material commonly placed in the soles of trainers and other shoes to absorb shock and improve comfort.

Considering the likeness of EVA and the shredded toys, it seemed like a no-brainer to blend the two materials in order to create footwear.

Once the toy-blended cubes are mixed with non-bleached EVA, they can be easily injected into a custom mould. Teitelbaum credits the architecture of The Broad Museum in LA as his inspiration for the shoe’s shape and dynamics.

It should be noted that there is a downside to including EVA during the manufacturing process, as the material is petroleum-based. This means the Raised In Good Faith can’t completely eliminate the possibility of Plastic Soul’s shoes ending up polluting landfill – at least not yet.

Finally, luxury isn’t lost on the company’s mission to include upcycled materials in its shoewear line. The lightweight design includes arch support and a cotton-lined cork insole that moulds to the wearers’ feet to provide all-day comfort.

And while the team at RIGF know their design for Plastic Soul is bound to be compared to the Yeezy Foamrunner, they’re confident theirs is better.

Each pair is sold for a fraction of the price ($130) while incorporating the same smooth and flexible feel of the recently revived Crocs.

Though finding a better alternative to EVA would be ideal, we can’t fault the footwear massively. Its creators have found a unique way to incorporate materials that likely would go unused otherwise – and that’s got to count for something.