Turn Your Old Blue Jeans into Sandals so Green

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Mike and Lynne Stables want to help you save the planet by turning your old blue jeans into new green sandals. The Stables own Softwalker, a British company which is offering to use those jeans to make bespoke footwear that is comfortable for you and helps the environment too. Customers can log on to their Web site www.recycleyourjeans.com to order a pre-paid envelope into which they place the pair of jeans they want to recycle. Within seven to ten business days a pair of Softwalker's bespoke "Kalahari" sandals arrive, with an insole and wraparound section made from your recycled denim. Mike Stables said buying the 45 pound ($89.60) sandals helped customers do their bit for the environment because they are made from recycled material, don't travel thousands of miles by air and cut down on the amount of the pesticides, chemicals and energy normally used to manufacture new shoes. "It's just a way of demonstrating that you can be environmentally friendly, still look good, and it doesn't have to cost a shedload of money," he told Reuters on Tuesday. The Website said the sandals mimic walking in bare feet for comfort and have the lowest carbon footprint of any shoes on sale in Britain. "Ninety-nine point nine percent of every other piece of footwear that you're buying in this country has come either wholly or largely from Asia," Stables said. He said the Web site has already had as many as 300 to 400 visitors fill in contact forms since Monday. At the moment only women's sandals are available, but the company is working on a further range of footwear for men and women made from hemp and recycled plastic bottle tops. Stables said the sandals were a bit of fun, which showed that being green can be fashionable and fun rather than just the confusion over which items to put in the recycling box. "We can get awfully preachy and guilt-ridden about environmental issues."

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