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 TIGARD, Ore., Aug 25 /PRNewswire/ -- This month at retail DEJA SHOE unveils its latest generation of footwear lines containing unique formulations of transformed trash, which now include an unbelievable array of over 15 different types of pre- and postconsumer recycled materials, DEJA SHOE announced today. Hitting the national retail shelves for the first time last April during Earth Day, DEJA SHOE's fall styles have pushed the art and science of making environmentally safer footwear from recycled materials to incredible new levels.
 DEJA SHOE has made major progress on several different fronts: 1) a method for making outsoles containing 50 percent postconsumer tire rubber, 2) a breakthrough in the use of water-based adhesives for assembling shoes, eliminating harmful and polluting fumes of solvent- based glues, and 3) the development of a new, high-end polypropylene fabric made from diaper manufacturers' scraps, just to name a few.
 Debuting this autumn is an exciting addition to the original ICO SNEAKS line incorporating a felt fabrication made from recycled wool blankets and used clothing. The women's ENVIROLITES line will also be sporting the colorful felt uppers made from the same postconsumer wool sources as well as preconsumer polyester and acrylic collected for garment makers and sweater knitters.
 November 1993 will see the delivery of a new DEJA SHOE category of casuals called the GAIA ROVERS. ("GAIA" is from the Greek work for Mother Earth and refers to the idea that the earth's physical and biological systems interact as one giant living entity.) The upper material of the GAIA ROVERS is an attractive and durable polypropylene fabric made from the trim waste left over from manufacturing diapers. While DEJA has previously used preconsumer recycled polypropylene as part of a molded thermoplastic compound, it now has the capability of turning this material into a new high-tech fabric. The new polypropylene fabric was developed jointly with Starensier, Synthetic International and Amoco Fabrics and Fibers after nearly three years of intensive research.
 As explained by Julie Lewis, DEJA founder and vice president of Research and New Product Concepts, "scrap, non-woven polypropylene from the diaper manufacturing process is collected, turned back into pellets, made into yarn and finally woven into new fabric. While it sounds simple, making it actually happen has been a very long and arduous research and development process." According to Bruce MacGregor, DEJA president and chief executive officer, "DEJA's technological breakthrough with this new use for recycled polypropylene scrap also has significant economic importance. By developing more sophisticated uses for recycled materials, we are helping to expand the market for high-end recyclables, which is an absolute necessity for the financial success of the overall recycling effort.
 An important environmental feature of the new fabric is that the dye is applied at the time of extrusion of the polypropylene pellets. This helps to reduce the toxic effluents associated with dying of fabrics. GAIA ROVERS, which will range in price from $60-$75 retail, include a total of six styles -- three each for men and women.
 While the thrust of DEJA's research and development efforts has focused on discovering new technologies and footwear applications for recycled materials, the company's overall approach has always been guided by the goal of minimizing the environmental, health and safety risks related to making footwear. In this connection, DEJA SHOE is leading the way in reducing the use of toxic chemicals associated with footwear manufacturing in the Orient.
 Solvents and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the main pollutants in the footwear industry. They are used in finishing leather and synthetic upper materials, as cleaners and also in adhesives. Environmentally, VOCs contribute to the formation of smog. Healthwise, solvents and their vapors can have both acute and chronic effects on factory workers. In addition to solvents, other toxic chemicals and heavy metals like phenolic biocides, chromium and cadmium -- as used in tanning and preserving leather -- are also potential hazards.
 DEJA's concern over these issues has prompted some specific actions by the company. First and foremost, DEJA has switched to using water- based adhesives in the manufacture of all its footwear. DEJA and Nan Pao Resins and Chemicals have cooperated in the development of methods for making shoes using little or no solvent-based cements. The major bond in all footwear -- shoe sole to upper -- is accomplished by DEJA with the new water-based adhesive. Test data indicate the water-based adhesive is equal to or better than standard solvent-based formulas in terms of bonding strength and resistance to water, heat and cold. Most importantly, the use of water-based adhesives means elimination of solvent vapors, a big step in the right direction, when it comes to preventing air pollution and preserving factory worker health. According to Bob Peterson, DEJA vice president of Production, "you can always tell when the factory is running DEJA footwear; there's an obvious lack of solvent odor in the air as you walk by the assembly line." A small amount of solvent-based adhesive is used in the toe box for added stiffness in some DEJA SHOE(R) styles, but efforts are underway to find water-based alternatives.
 As a matter of corporate policy, DEJA manufactures only leather-free footwear. As explained by Dr. Robert C. Farentinos, DEJA vice president of Environmental Affairs, the decision to do so is more consistent with DEJA's policies and objectives as an environmental company. "Obviously, by not using leather in our shoes we avoid involvement with environmental impacts associated with leather tanning and processing. But, there's more to it than just that. In a broader, ecological sense over-consumption of animal products has contributed to such things as deforestation and loss of biodiversity in many parts of the world. Our commitment is to help alleviate some of the environmental consequences of making footwear and one way we've chosen to do this is by not using leather."
 DEJA SHOE hopes that its ground-breaking efforts in the development and use of water-based adhesives will be followed by other footwear manufacturers with factories in the Orent. To this end MacGregor has gone on record saying, "We advocate high standards of health, safety and environmental protection within our industry, and we are committed to sharing our knowledge and experience toward achieving this end with other footwear companies."
 Based in Tigard, DEJA SHOE is a footwear company committed to profitability through sustainable development and environmental stewardship. Its mission is to manufacture and market footwear made from recycled materials, as well as ecologically obtained plant materials, and also to develop new technologies, uses and markets for these materials.
 -0- 8/25/93
 /CONTACT: B.J. Schmeltzer of DEJA SHOE, 503-624-7443/


CO-AL -- SE009 -- 5939 08/25/93 19:50 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 25, 1993

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