This thesis reports on the research undertaken to investigate the realisation of end-of-life
product recovery in footwear industry, and to develop a systematic approach in
considering the various factors that influence the selection of the most appropriate end-oflife
treatment options for post-consumer shoes. The principle objective of this research is
to generate knowledge and generic solutions to facilitate the application of product
recovery and recycling procedures in footwear industry.
The research contribution is divided into three major parts. The first part provides an
overview of recent advancements in footwear sector and reviews the most relevant
research in the area of end-of-life product recovery and multi-criteria decision making
techniques. The second part investigates a novel methodology for the end-of-life product
recovery in footwear industry. The application of this methodology is supported by a
multi-criteria decision making model and software tool to aid the selection of the most
appropriate end-of-life treatment option for post-consumer shoes. The third part of the
thesis explores the applicability of the research concepts through the development of case
studies based on two distinctly different types of shoes. The results from these case studies
have shown a wide range of potential markets that can be established for the various
recycled materials that can be obtained from post-consumer shoes. These results also
indicated that a small increase in the cost of recovery process can lead to generation of
high quality shoe recycled materials which could have potentially valuable applications in
In summary, the research has concluded that the methodology, the multi-criteria decision
making model and tool investigated by this research can provide invaluable support for the
implementation of shoe recovery and recycling procedures in footwear industry.
Throughout this research it has also become evident that the idealistic vision of "zero
waste to landfill" in footwear industry cannot be achieved only by consideration of end-of life
management options and necessitates the proactive involvement of shoe
manufacturers through improvements in shoe design and material selection.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.