Recyclable Plastic High Heels

February 21, 2010 :: Posted by - admin :: Category - High Heel Fashion

The fashion industry has been calling out for more designers to design and create eco-friendly fashions. Yet another designer, Jean Paul Gaultier, has stepped up with his design for recyclable plastic high heels. Gaultier has partnered with Brazilian eco footwear brand Melissa, to produce a stunning, chiseled-heel plastic stiletto that is not only 100% recyclable, but sexy and stylish as well. It will be available in black, caramel, tangerine, lime and beige, and is expected to be available this June for around $320 a pair.


French-born fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier never received formal training as a designer. Instead, he started out by sending sketches to famous couture stylists at an early age. Pierre Cardin was impressed by his talent and hired him as an assistant in 1970. Afterwards he worked with Jacques Esterel in 1971 and Jean Patou. He later moved on to designing his own label. His collections have been based on street wear, focusing on popular culture, whereas others, particularly his Haute Couture collections, are very formal yet at the same time unusual and playful. Gaultier produced sculptured costumes for Madonna during the nineties with her infamous cone-bra, and has caused shock by using unconventional models

for his exhibitions, like older men and full-figured women, pierced and heavily tattooed models, and by playing with traditional gender roles in the shows. This earned him both criticism and enormous popularity. Not is he only famous for his clothing and accessories, he also has a popular line of perfumes.

Unlike the process of producing plastic, the process of curing leather involves the use of a very toxic compound called Chromium 6 (hexavalent chromium), which makes leather soft and easy to work with, but results in one of the most noxious pollutants known to humans. Exposure to Chromium 6 can cause gene mutations, cancer, and skin and lung irritations. As for some other accepted vegan footwear materials,
harsh chemical solvents, toxic glues, petroleum products, polyurethanes, PVC, and other harmful ingredients that can off-gas, affect factory workers’ health and contribute massive amounts of eco-toxic waste.

The footwear and textile industries are slowly coming around to changing their ways. Leather tanning can now be accomplished with a curing process that involves vegetable tannins, and some companies are reverting to older practices such as using wood smoke and fish oil to cure the leather. Footwear companies are catching on – many are changing their manufacturing processes to include less toxic materials, such as water-based glues and solvents. These eco-friendly practices are also extending to the packaging department, producing an abundance of recycled shoe boxes decorated with soy-based inks.