Boots made from old tube and bus seats

Boots made from old bus seatsI meant to post this last week but time got away from me (as it has a tendency to do these days).

Anyway, shoe company Above+Below London have launched a new partnership with FirstGroup and London Underground to make Chuck Taylor/Converse style basketball hi-tops – with a cute twist.

The shoes’ uppers are made from iconic bus and tube seat covers – from the garish to the very garish – but with that cool retro feel. (I remember the middle one from my youth on rattling MerseyBuses so they’re not just London designs, or rather not just designs only used in London.)

The rubber soles are incorporate recycled old bus tyres and apparently the trim includes “re-used leather cheque book wallets”.

They’re not cheap – at £80-90 – but are sweat-shop free – made in Portugal – and from “100% salvaged UK waste” — which is a LOT more than can be said for most trainers in that price range…

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13 Responses to “Boots made from old tube and bus seats”

  1. john says:

    Ha, I remember the orangey ones in the middle from the buses around Bradford when I was a kid :)

  2. MJ Ray says:

    Sounds rather like the first pair from – great artists steal, huh?

    • louisa says:

      I wasn’t suggesting that they’re a completely innovative idea – I’ve seen a good number of old-tyre-soled shoes – but the reason I featured it was for the seat design stuff, and because they’re 100% recycled waste materials.

      I think we need more people doing more stuff like this and not really worrying about who did it first.

  3. Matt says:

    A great product being 100% recycled but they would be even better if they were made in the UK. Thus cutting down on shipping materials to Portugal.

    • lovelondoner says:

      Hi Matt, making in the UK would be great, but the machinery and skills do not exist in the UK anymore.
      ABOVE+BELOW LONDON did look into it.
      Most of the UK shoe factories have closed – killed off mostly by competition from the Far East! Demand for cheap shoes is the problem, and cheap imports have flooded the market internationally.
      The cost to set-up in the UK would be prohibitively expensive. We scoured the planet for an ethical factory to create these shoes and we wanted it to be as close to the UK as possible.
      The people who make these shoes in Portugal are skilled artisans – Please see the ‘make to order’ page on the website.
      The materials we reuse: tube and bus seat fabric, leather cheque book wallets and tyre rubber were originally destined for landfill/incineration in the UK, a total waste of resources, not to mention the original energy that went into creating them all in the first place!
      We put any profits into a not-for-profit company TRiP which is currently researching and developing better techniques for redirecting waste streams (especially within the transport industry). A tree is also donated to our charity tree planting partners Trees for Cities for each pair sold.
      Protecting the environment and encouraging & inspiring others to do the same is our passion. For this very reason we also set-up the Recycled Sculpture Show and are on the Love London steering committee & board of London21.

  4. joe says:

    Good work, I like it.

    We are convinced that these kinds of skills still do exist in the UK within the highly disadvantaged homeworker community. Factories certainly do not exist, but there are still people who know how and are looking for work.

  5. alison says:

    great to see recycled waste being used in this way – but ??being taken from UK to Portugal for manufacture into footwear and back again for sale?? Surely manufacture can be achieved in the UK thereby greatly reducing the energy required to produce the items and making sense of the initial idea of recycling – reducing waste and energy usage. hope to see more great items in future but manufactured in the UK.

  6. Joe says:

    I am glad I stopped by to read this post. It is refreshing to read an author who knows the subject matter. I will be adding you to my reader.

  7. nelly says:

    i love those they r so kl! and made completely out of recycled materials as well! does anyone know how 2 do actualy do something like this but with easier accessible materials?

  8. m.m says:

    i want some stuff related to home decore.

  9. AreEmm says:

    Really great idea!!!! Would love to know if anybody knows where to source this fabric from? May sound strange but i wish to re cover my period car seats of the same era.

    Many thanks in advance!

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