Upcycling for Eco Shoes

Organisation (Stakeholder)

Eco Shoes - Kumasi


Growing population and changing lifestyles in Africa lead to increasing volume and complexity of waste that is generated, going together with a number of hazardous substances that are of particular concern because they pose risks to human health and the environment. As sanitary landfills are scarce and have a limited life-span, significant portions of waste find their way to dumpsites and heaps. At the same time, resource recovery and recycling are handled primarily by waste pickers in the informal sector causing serious risks for the quality of life and the environment. Enhancing resource efficient waste management and recycling can contribute turning societal challenges into opportunities for win-win solutions benefitting the public as well as the private sector.


Eco-Shoes hires and trains physically disabled artisans to manufacture durable and versatile footwear made from upcycled tires and fabric waste, thereby empowering the disabled and lifting them out of poverty, while at the same time reducing waste.Eco-Shoes combines the upcycling of discarded truck tires and fabrics with training of the physically challenged in order to manufacture shoes, slippers, sandals, bags and belts. Disabled shoemakers purchase tires from families who live on scrapyards, and process the material into a fashionable shoe, slipper, sandal, bag or belt.Customers place orders online and the shoes are sent to distribution outlets for sale on both the local and international market. All activities are done in-house, except tire collection and outsourcing of shoemaking for large orders.Partners:

  • Eco-Shoes is in charge of upcycling of discarded truck tires and fabrics and the training of the physically challenged staff in shoe manufacturing.
  • Bibini Deluxe, a Ghanaian shoemaker, provides capacity building and training to the physically challenged staff to make Eco-Shoes.
  • The National Youth Authority hosts venture, coaching and advisory services to train youth for employment as Eco-Shoes staff.


Social impacts:

  • Training and creating direct employment opportunities for ten people with disabilities so far, creating direct benefits for 50 households members.
  • Providing consistent work, fair wages and health insurance to the physically challenged shoemakers, equipping them with the ability to make household decisions.

Environmental impacts:

  • Upcycling of thousands of truck tires and over 100 tonnes of scrap materials so far.

Economic impacts:

  • Connecting Ghanaian disabled artisans to the global fashion marketplace.
  • Doubling household income for ten disabled artisans.
  • Providing fair wages and transferrable skillsets.


Period of Implementation

Wednesday, 8. March 2017 to Thursday, 31. December 2020


Contact person

Mabel Suglo





Waste hierarchy

  • Reuse
  • Recycling

Area of intervention

  • Greening Entrepreneurship


Africa Western Africa


Adum-Harper Road, P O BOX KS 8508

german cooperationFederal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Developmentsupported by The State Government of North Rhine-Westphalia