Meet the sports sneakers made with recycled wind turbine blades

tenis fabricados con palas de aerogeneradores reciclados

Inspenet, December 15, 2023.

The company Acciona Energía and the fashion store chain El Ganso have collaborated to launch an exclusive series of tennis shoes made with recycled wind turbine blades . This innovative initiative represents a circular economy approach applied to the recycling of wind turbine blades, addressing one of the key challenges facing the wind industry as many windmills reach the end of life.

El Ganso x Acciona: tennis shoes made with wind turbine blades

The collection of sneakers, called “El Ganso x Acciona”, uses a 23-meter-long blade from the Aibar wind farm in Navarra.

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The presentation of the new line of sports shoes took place at the El Ganso store in Madrid. This innovative collection uses recycled materials from wind blades that have reached the end of their useful life , subjecting them to a micronizing process, as detailed in a statement from Acciona. This revolutionary technique in blade recycling involves reducing the size of fiberglass and epoxy resins to microns through a mechanical process.

The powder resulting from this process is mixed with rubber to create a sole that retains the resistance, grip and durability properties of conventional sneakers. Regarding the design of the “El Ganso x Acciona” model, these sneakers incorporate the logos of both companies and pay tribute to the renewable origin of the material used in the sole: a wind turbine blade.

tennis shoes made from wind turbine blades
The tennis shoes incorporate the logos of both companies

Blade waste management represents one of the fundamental challenges for the wind industry, as many wind turbines are reaching the end of their useful life. In Spain, specifically, Acciona foresees the need to recycle around 20,000 blades in the near future.

The positive perspective lies in the fact that almost 90% of a wind turbine is recyclable, since it is made up of materials with well-established recycling chains. However, the blades have the complexity of being made of composite materials, such as fiberglass, carbon fiber, resins and other polymers. The main challenge is therefore to develop solutions that are simultaneously ecologically sustainable and economically viable on a large scale.

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