PARIS, Sept 19 — From sushi to sneakers? The idea may have seemed far-fetched just a few years ago, but that’s no longer the case in an age where recycling is king. Sustainable unisex sneaker brand O.T.A. Paris has unveiled a pair of sneakers made with upcycled salmon leather, using fish skins sourced directly from a sushi restaurant in France.

From the trash can to your wardrobe! Fashion is on a mission to reduce its impact on the environment by making something new out of something old — and it’s working! Scrap fabric, unsold items, worn-out clothes, cigarette butts, windshields, tires and even seafood are now the kinds of raw materials being used to craft the contents of your wardrobe. And there’s no denying that our garbage cans are full of resources that could be given a second life instead of ending up in landfill.

A brand called O.T.A. Paris — for On The Asphalt — has long been tackling the issue head on by offering only sustainable sneakers, at least some of which are made from recycled materials, like tires. But now the brand is taking things a step further by unveiling a collaboration with the Sushi Shop restaurant chain. While the idea of tucking into a tray of maki rolls and sashimi might make your mouth water, it’s perhaps much less appealing to imagine them in your sneakers. And yet, this project manages to do pretty much just that... and with style!

The limited-edition, unisex Sansaho Maki Saumon sneakers are not made entirely from salmon, but they sport a logo made from upcycled salmon skin. This was made possible thanks to a second partnership, this time with a French tannery, which transforms fish skins recovered from a Sushi Shop restaurant location in Lyon into this surprising leather material. It’s a way to reduce waste without having to resort to new materials — what’s not to like?

Offered in a wide range of sizes, at a price of €145, the sneakers are made of Italian cowhide leather, with a sole made of recycled tires and rubber, and laces made of natural cotton fibres, as specified by O.T.A. on the brand’s e-store.

And this isn’t the only brand to have joined the recent craze for upcycling waste in the fashion industry. French designer Eugène Riconneaus has created sneakers from marine waste — more specifically, fishing nets, seafood shells and green algae. This initiative joins many others on the road to making fashion more sustainable and more eco-responsible as an industry where upcycling has a rightful place. — ETX Studio