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Recycled Trash Trainers are a Load of Old Rubbish!

“With the development of plastic came a utopian promise – that this revolutionary material would change our lives. It has now become so materially ingrained in our lives and environment that it’s becoming increasingly indistinguishable and inseparable from nature.”
So says Everything You Buy Is Rubbish, a project set up by London students Charles Duffy, William Gubbins and Billy Turvey as a way to shed some light on the true impact that plastic waste has on our environment.
Getting their message across in a series of creative endeavours, the group’s latest venture sees them make a pair of brightly coloured trainers from plastic waste found on the shores of the Thames and other rivers, operating on the basis that “we have created a plastic legacy that will be felt for generations”.

Identifying the shoe as a symbol of the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality of contemporary consumerism, the trio set out to prove the disposability of modern footwear that is not built to last as it once was. We now get rid of shoes and trainers without a second thought when they start to show signs of wear, where once repairing them would have been the first step, and the plastics found in footwear today take generations to decompose.

The materials used by the Everything You Buy… team came purely from disposed of plastic that had been painted, melted down and remoulded into trainers, demonstrating an approach that could be taken on a much larger scale to reduce the amount of plastic waste.
Duffy, Gubbins and Turvey accompanied their creation with a series of satirical posters, mimicking the logos and slogans of multinational sports brands who stand to gain the most from the rampant consumerism surrounding sales of trainers. One pair sees pixelated versions of the Nike symbol underneath pictures of the trainers, with phrases such as “you did it”, “just realise it” and “100% rubbish” setting the accusatory tone.

Pointing the finger of blame at modern cultural attitudes that put pressure on (particularly young) people to maintain a certain image, whereby the first sign of a blemish on clothing or footwear means they are thrown out, the project hopes to use the repurposed trainers as a very literal symbol of consumption.


Woodford Recycling are the foremost provider of waste management and recycling services in the Huntingdon, Bedford, Cambridge, Peterborough and wider areas. We offer first rate skip hire services for all domestic and commercial use, from mini, midi and maxi sizes to roll on roll off models.

Our waste processing facilities aim to recycle over 85% of all the waste we collect, and our team are on hand to carry out all hazardous waste disposal, including asbestos.

Get in touch with Woodford Recycling today for more information.


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