“As the home of British motorsport, we have a responsibility to lead the way with smarter methods of working and are looking to collaborate with partners on new and innovative ideas to help build a sustainable future for our industry. Compound Footwear’s solution to sneaker and race tyre waste along with its mission to create a greener future in motorsport is commendable and we are delighted to be supporting their initiative.”
- Stuart Pringle, Managing Director, Silverstone
"I am delighted to have supported Compound Footwear on their commercialisation journey. They are a fantastically innovative company, trail-blazing the use of recycled motorsport materials into sustainable fashion and creating new circular economy pathways within the industry."
- James Snelgrove, Innovate UK EDGE South West
Compound Footwear's founder, Alex Witty, was studying Product Design at the University of Brighton during the 2020 Covid lockdown specialising in sustainability and circular economies.
Alex embarked on this pioneering project with limited access to university facilities due to Covid restrictions.
He said: “As the university facilities were closed due to Covid, it forced me to convert my bedroom into a workshop, where I was recycling materials such as coffee and ocean plastic in rows of panini presses and melting seaweed polymers in the student kitchen. I wasn’t winning any Flatmate of the Year awards that year!
“It was during this time that the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled and I heard that 1,800 brand-new tyres were scrapped and shipped back to the UK to be incinerated. I was shocked to find out that most motorsport tyres are burnt after each race and felt that surely I could find a better use for them."
Compound's motorsport-inspired sneakers are made from used race tyre rubber combined with recycled natural rubber to create the soles. The uppers are made from waste leather and recycled polyester lining and laces.
At the end of their natural life, Compound Footwear sneakers can be recycled into 100% reusable raw materials to make new shoes
Our objective is to avoid the use of virgin fossil fuels, reduce the number of different materials that make most sneakers un-recyclable, and incorporate sustainable, recycled materials that not only reduce environmental impact but are also an attractive step towards a cleaner, greener future.
The Problem / Solution
Currently, 25 billion pairs of shoes are manufactured each year globally using virgin materials, which prove very difficult to recycle owing to their complex design and the number of materials used. A staggering 22 billion pairs end up in landfill where they release harmful chemicals into the soil and groundwater, causing a global health and waste management crisis.
Global shoe production releases as much CO2 into the atmosphere each year as the emissions of 66 million cars, creating a carbon footprint that accounts for 20% of the world’s fashion waste, which produces 10% of all global CO2 emissions - more than all maritime shipping and international flights combined.
The production of tyres also creates an enormous waste problem, with 2 billion tyres produced annually (equivalent to 5 million tyres a day) and 1 billion tyres reaching the end of their life each year.
Motorsport, including Formula 1, GT racing, rallying and Indycar, consumes over 600,000 tyres in a single season, most of which become waste after each race, or even just a few laps. Formula 1 alone discards over 40,000 tyres annually, which are sent to UK concrete factories to be incinerated.
Compound Footwear’s sneakers are a fusion of cutting-edge motorsport-inspired designs and sustainable materials that turn heads while reducing environmental impact. By choosing Compound Footwear, consumers will play a role in a cleaner future – one shoe at a time.
Compound Footwear invites fashion-conscious consumers to join the movement, where every step taken is a step towards a cleaner, greener future.
Founders Club is a limited edition line of sustainable motorsport-inspired clothing exclusively designed for the first supporters of Compound. This line features unique items made from recycled and upcycled materials, such as manufacturing offcuts that would have otherwise ended up in landfills or incinerators.
By joining the Founders Club, you not only get access to exclusive and limited-edition clothing but also become part of our mission to reduce waste in the fashion and motorsport industry.
To our fellow founders, welcome to the club.