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Barker launches chewing gum-soled shoes

British footwear retailer and brand Barker has launched a capsule line of shoes featuring a sole made from recycled chewing gum.

The business has teamed up with recycling initiative Gumdrop to create a pink sole for its popular tan women’s brogue and a blue sole for the men’s style.

Gumdrop specialises in recycling chewing gum into a range of new polymers that can be used in the rubber and plastics industry. The coloured soles on Barker’s brogues are made from 20% recycled chewing gum and a mix of other recycled plastics.

Adrian Gell, sales manager at Barkers, said the concept has already proved popular with buyers. “A few of our key accounts bought into it at Moda; they love the idea. The coloured sole has been placed on one of our more commercial styles so it will continue to sell well.”

Barker intends to increase the number of styles and colours for the autumn 15 season, but no decision has yet been made on which colours or styles could be included.

Anna Bullus, founder of Gumdrop, said the partnership with Barker was its first with a fashion label and a great step for the environmental company.

“Barker is a British company so it’s a great place for us to start; the streets of the UK are lined with gum so it seemed natural for us to complete that full circle by using chewing gum to create a sole for some beautiful shoes,” she said.

Gumdrop is also developing a line of jelly sandals and wellington boots with another unnamed retailer.

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