Greenbees' Eco-Chic Footwear Puts Discarded Tires Back to Work

Greenbees photo
Photo credit: Greenbees

Janel Garcia and her cousin, Irene Clancy, spent the summers of their childhood perched lazily on a tire swing, whittling away the hours beneath a cool green canopy and a searing azure sky. Eager to recapture the simple pleasures of their youth for their own brood, the now-grown Garcia and Clancy set off to find a pair of discarded tires, only to discover, to their enormous dismay, mountains upon mountains of landfilled junk.

No American child will ever be in want of a tire swing, it would seem. After all, the United States produced 290 million scrap tires in 2003 alone, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Garcia and Clancy, who felt the urge to do something, had two choices: They could either wander the planet doling out tire swings or design a line of shoes shod with recycled-tire soles. They chose shoes.Greenbees photo
Photo credit: Greenbees

At Greenbees, for every tire that is rescued from the landfill, four shoes are produced. Keeping in line with their planet-saving credo, Garcia and Clancy use only full-grain leathers that are byproducts of the meat industry and considered waste material. Tanned without formaldehyde or heavy metals, the leather is then crafted into bohemian-inspired footwear in a family-owned factory in Leon, Mexico.

Fall/winter 2009 brings three new styles of boot: The Tencha, a fresh take on the classic equestrian silhouette; the Erma, with a sleeker, embellishment-free design; and the Emma, an ankle boot that exudes both flair and comfort.

For every Greenbees shoe sold, a tree is planted through Trees for the Future.

Rubber, meet road all over again.

Greenbees photo
Photo credit: Greenbees
Greenbees photo
Photo credit: Greenbees
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