In Detroit, old tires are finding new life as highly fashionable footwear, known as Detroit Treads. Made from recycled tire rubber and old seatbelt material, these sandals were created by students at the University of Michigan and the College for Creative Studies in a unique program that gives aspiring designers, engineers and business professionals the opportunity to work together to make marketable products.
Treads are becoming an actual retailed product, thanks to a Detroit non-profit that supports sustainable green industries. Cass Community Social Services, works to provide relief in areas of concentrated poverty providing programs for food, health, housing, and jobs.
CCSS was already making good use of the over 30,000 illegally dumped tires it has collected in Detroit with its, line of indestructible mud mats. Detroit Treads sandals adds to their list of green industries, creating revenue and jobs for the people CCSS serves.
Detroit Tread sandals were launched on June 23 2014 at the CCSS annual fundraising event, Catch the Ford Fireworks With Cass. They were reportedly very well-received, and beginning in late July, Detroit Treads will be available for purchase online at the CCSS website.
To learn more about how Detroit Treads were developed, read this article from the University of Michigan Plant Blue.