The vast scale of shoe waste.

The global footwear industry faces a significant environmental challenge, producing over 24 billion shoes annually. This massive output consumes vast resources and leaves behind an equally vast footprint of waste and pollution, impacting the environment at every stage in a shoe's lifecycle —materials production, manufacturing, transportation, use, and disposal.

Traditional manufacturing processes, reliant on resource-intensive and toxic materials exacerbate the challenge, with shoes polluting landfills or the environment for centuries.

Orba Shoes is taking leadership in addressing this challenge by pioneering the development and use of renewable materials in footwear. The multi-award-winning Orba Ghost sneaker embodies this commitment, offering a solution that is both sustainable and practical, emphasizing Orbas' dedication to environmental stewardship without compromising on quality or affordability.


Environmental and social ramifications of footwear pollution.

The environmental degradation stemming from footwear pollution is vast, encompassing not just the waste produced but also the social and ethical concerns associated with labour practices in manufacturing regions.

The industry contributes approximately 1.4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, a testament to its significant environmental impact, from raw materials extraction to disposal at the end of life. Moreover, the pursuit of low production costs often results in exploitation, hazardous working conditions, and a lack of transparency and accountability, particularly in global supply chains.


The challenge of longevity.

The durability of modern footwear materials, mainly plastics and rubbers, while beneficial for wear, poses significant challenges at the end of a shoe's life. With many materials lasting hundreds of years in landfills or the environment, the long term repercussions are profound.

This issue underscores the need for a shift towards materials and designs that prioritize sustainability, ensuring that shoes have the ability to breakdown once shredded, over a reasonable time, in the right microbial environment, without leaving a lasting mark on the planet.


A more sustainable solution.

Orba, with its foundation in renewable materials research and ethical manufacturing, and led by highly experienced footwear industry engineers and best-in-class sustainability practitioners, presents a comprehensive solution to this multifaceted problem. The Orba Ghost, a sneaker crafted from renewable plant-based materials, avoids plastics, toxins, metals, and forever chemicals, and does not compromise the durability, comfort, style, and affordability of the shoe. This sets a new standard for the footwear industry.

Orba’s approach addresses the immediate environmental impacts of footwear production and waste and also aligns with broader sustainability goals, reducing the carbon footprint, promoting ethical labour practices, and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.


Orba Shoes' vision and mission.

Orba Shoes' commitment to improving sustainability is not only about creating an eco-friendly product, it’s also about setting an example for an industry-wide shift towards more responsible practices.

By leveraging science-based materials development and sustainable supply chain management, Orba aims to eliminate pollution and other unsustainable factors from the footwear industry. The Orba Ghost is just the beginning, with the company's vision extending to a future where all footwear is produced more sustainably, benefiting both the environment and society.



The scale of the problem of footwear waste and pollution is undeniably vast, but solutions such as those pioneered by Orba offer hope. By embracing renewable materials, ethical manufacturing, and sustainable sourcing, the footwear industry can significantly reduce its environmental impact. Consumers, companies and policy makers are called on to come together to support efforts, fostering a more sustainable future for footwear.

Through its innovative approach and commitment to environmental and social responsibility, Orba demonstrates that change is possible, leading by example in the journey towards sustainability.


Get your pair of Orba Shoes today and help us fight the vast problem of shoe waste.

Shop the Orba Ghost here and wear your Orba Shoes to visibly impact shoe waste. 

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