Shoes are not what most people think of when Tyvek is mentioned. Sheathing for houses and buildings, envelops and some protective wear but not shoes. Unstitched Utilities, the collaboration of three recovering corporate workers saw the material and thought “shoes”.
Jack Steinweis, Kevin Crowley, and Mark Kane are the masterminds behind Unstitched Utilities. The three decided to escape from the corporate world of athletic wear and started their own company using an unusual material for a familiar shoe. The Tyvek shoes they, called the “Unpressed” collection make are high top basketball shoes they call “Next Day Mid” and low top (converse) basketball shoes they call “Next Day Low”.
The Unpressed collection is made from recycled Tyvek. All those envelops and leftover home sheathing actually gets reused. The shoes have the crinkled look of Tyvek and come in tan, white and gray. Basic colors to go with most casual wardrobes. The company calls them “High Quality Fashion Footwear” and if you consider hard to rip, water repellant, breathable tennis shoes high quality fashion footwear than these shoes fit the bill. The Tyvek uppers are attached to your basic rubber basketball sole for pickup game convenience.
The company also has another line of shoes made from leather called the Magma. Magma shoes are styled along the lines of old hockey boots. This is not the eco-friendly collection.
Tyvek, unbeknownst to many, is indeed recyclable. Don’t get this confused with running down to your local recycling center or using blue bags. In order to recycle Tyvek you have to order a special “kit” from Waste Management. It will cost you $15 and will hold “over 250 square feet of Tyvek® material.” Hopefully you will have your yardstick handy.
The Unpressed collection by Unstitched Utilities is not the first line of recycled Tyvek clothing to hit the market although it is arguably the most fashionable. MPE Inc. offers recycled disposable Tyvek clothing. You can get everything from lab coats to coveralls.
Unstitched Utilities will be donating a percentage of the profits from its Unpressed collection to help environmental causes worldwide making its line of casual shoes some of the most environmentally friendly shoes you can buy.