UK & Switzerland – Product Design student Maxwell Ashford is challenging current systems for fashion recycling with robotically-recyclable footwear. The RUEI-01 shoe, which comes as a collaboration with robotics company ABB Robotics, features an in-built QR code that instructs robots to methodically disassemble the design once it reaches its end of life.
While conventional disposal systems fail to separate components such as coatings, glues, and colours, this ‘unmanufacture’ information embedded in the shoes enables robots to extract raw materials for recycling. ‘Existing recyclable shoes focus on mono-materialising,’ explains a statement on Ashford’s website. ‘RUEI-01 scopes the potential of multi-material durability and performance, with recycling by automation.’
By designing with a whole-system approach, this project recognises the need for more products to be created with end-of-life or re-use strategies from the start. As we explore in our interview with the founders of the Endings Summit, long-term impact considerations are essential for future product creation.
Across sectors, brands must address end-of-life strategies at the R&D phases of creating any new products. Guide users and customers with informative labels that share best-practice product disposal