I wrote an article last week about the importance of recycling our old smartphones. Now that there are more smartphones on the planet than people, if we don’t recycle them properly, they could become the cockroaches of technology. It’s always refreshing to see people come up with creative ways to recycle or upcycle them, which keep them out of landfills and keep them from poisoning the planet. These upcycled vintage shoes are a fun example of how old smartphone technology can be used for something new.
In a nutshell, designer Sean Miles took old Nokia and LG cellphones and built them into designer, vintage shoes. This resulted in several pairs of shoes that also have fully functional phone capabilities; however, today they work like walkie-talkies.
You’ll see a Nike Air trainer, a Christian Louboutin shoe, a Hunter Welly and a men’s brogue which were all given the retro phone treatment. Each one has a keypad built into the sole of the shoe itself, so it basically works just as it did when it was someone’s cellphone years ago.
O2 Recycle provided the old cellphones for this project. Their customers sent them in to be recycled, and I’m sure they would be delighted to know their old phones went to such good use. This is the perfect example of upcycling. Those old phones placed into old, vintage shoes suddenly came together to create something entirely new and different. Of course, nobody would wear these shoes (although they probably could). They are art pieces now. Sean has more than vintage shoes on his mind. He plans to build old cellphones into handbags and gloves too. Perhaps he’ll take some inspiration from the Telephone Bags of the 1970s. After all, some people say those were the first real mobile phones ever!