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06/29/2021

Rothy’s expands store footprint

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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A digitally native, eco-friendly footwear company that makes shoes and bags out of recycled and sustainable materials has opened its first Midwest location.

Rothy’s has opened a store in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. It’s the brand’s sixth brick-and-mortar site and joins locations in Boston, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. 

Rothy’s shoes, which are washable, are made from recycled materials, including recycled plastic water bottles. The shoes — all flats, and priced at $125 to $165 — are knitted together, minimizing waste and also making them extremely comfortable, according to fans.  According to the brand, its “knit to shape” process results in 30% material waste than the traditional cut-and-sew methods.

Most recently, Rothy’s expanded into the men’s category, offering two styles: a loafer and sneaker. Similar to the women’s lineup, the men's products are made with recycled and eco-friendly materials and are washable. In other recent moves, the brand expanded its sustainability commitment, with plans to achieve zero-waste manufacturing in 2022 and reach circular production and carbon neutrality by 2023. It’s also launching a pilot recycling program dedicated to keeping all Rothy’s materials out of landfills.

Rothy’s took the same design approach to its newest brick-and-mortar outpost as it does to its shoes. The interior has a streamlined look, with clean lines and quality craftsmanship. In keeping with the brand’s commitment to sustainability, the storefront is made from recycled materials. Ocean-bound plastic was used to create the floor. The cash wrap and cabinets are made from recycled wood fiber content and paper. 

A large upfront display highlights the individual elements that Rothy’s uses to make its products, including merino wool, marine algae and single-use plastic. Signage details the brand’s sustainability ethos.