You Know All Those Corks You're Saving? You Could Be Wearing Them Someday

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The makings of a kickass pair of wedgies?
​If you want another option for your used champagne and wine corks -- beyond using them in bad art projects -- there are fashion-forward options in the works. Cork is one material that's migrating from the recycling bin to the shoe store.

A new "upcycling" program plans to utilize some of the billions of old, used natural cork wine and champagne closures to make shoes. This week, a company called ReCORK America announced a new recycling program between Amorim of Portugal, and SOLE, a North American shoe manufacturer. ReCORK's local recycling partners include Rodney Strong Wine Estates, Cakebread Cellars, Whole Foods, the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, Rutherford Wine Co., and PlumpJack. Other cork donors include American Airlines/Sodexo, The Wine Tasting Network (WTN), and biggie Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines. So far, the sustainability-forward project has collected four million corks since starting in 2007.

SOLE shoes are used by pro teams from the NFL, NBA, and MLB. Look for corky SOLE products at REI, (love the free shipping!), and other specialty retailers.

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