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Reduce waste: what if we started with shoes?

In today's world, where excessive purchasing is the order of the day, we have forgotten the enormous impact this has on the environment and energy consumption.

Our project focuses on an often overlooked issue: the waste of resources in shoe production.

Here is our point-by-point document, which reveals the problem and suggests an innovative solution:

  1. Excess production:
    • Billions of pairs of shoes are produced every year, of which 20% remain unsold, contributing to a huge waste of energy and resources.
  2. Energy consumption:
    • Global shoe production requires approximately 15 kWh of energy for each pair.
    • 20 billion pairs of unsold shoes correspond to an incredible waste of 60 billion kWh of energy.
  3. Environmental impact:
    • This energy waste is equivalent to that produced by 13.6 500 MW coal-fired power plants, with a devastating impact on the environment.
  4. The sustainable consumerism paradigm:
    • Our paper proposes a paradigm shift, moving from mass production to tailor-made manufacturing.
    • By producing only what is needed, when it is needed and according to customer specifications, we can eliminate wasted energy and resources.
  5. Mass Customization as a solution:
    • Adopting bespoke manufacturing can dramatically reduce waste, ensuring that every pair of shoes produced finds a buyer.
    • This sustainable approach not only preserves resources, but also promotes a more responsible consumption culture.
  6. Role of Artificial Intelligence:
    • Artificial intelligence, as demonstrated by the example of ChatGPT, can help calculate the extent of waste and raise public awareness of the need for change.


In conclusion, our paper clearly demonstrates that the adoption of tailored manufacturing practices is essential to reduce resource and energy waste in the footwear industry.

Only with a change in mindset and the adoption of new technologies can we hope to create a more sustainable future for our planet.