Lonati Group, HP, and Decathlon Unveil Revolutionary Sustainable Shoe Manufacturing Concept at ITMA 2023

At the ITMA 2023 textile machinery show, a groundbreaking shoe manufacturing concept has been unveiled by Italy’s Lonati Group in collaboration with digital printing specialist HP and Decathlon, the global leader in sports goods retail. This innovative process combines the prowess of digital knitting, 3D printing, and sustainability to create highly customizable, repairable, and locally produced sports shoes.

Traditionally, shoe production has been a complex and resource-intensive process, involving numerous parts and adhesive materials. However, Lonati Group’s new concept streamlines the manufacturing process by utilizing single or double-layer fabrics produced on Santoni and Lonati knitting machines for the shoe uppers. Complementing this approach, HP’s Jet Fusion 5200 printer is employed to create 3D printed midsoles and outsoles using BASF Ultrasint TPU01—a versatile thermoplastic polyurethane powder renowned for its exceptional shock absorption and flexibility.

The integration of 3D printing and digital knitting on an industrial scale has unlocked a new era of highly customizable sports shoes. Consumers now have the ability to personalize their footwear to suit their individual preferences and needs. Moreover, the glue-free assembly method employed in this novel manufacturing process ensures that the shoes can be easily repaired when damaged. By separating the cushion and upper parts, targeted repairs can be conducted without the need to discard the entire shoe. This not only extends the lifespan of the product but also significantly reduces waste. The use of a single material, TPU, for the grip and cushion parts further enhances recyclability.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with HP’s personalization and 3D printing business and Lonati Group on this project that exemplifies our commitment to sustainability,” said Philippe Seille, exploration leader at Decathlon. “By leveraging the potential of 3D printing, we are revolutionizing the shoe manufacturing process by offering consumers customized, recyclable, and locally produced footwear.”

In addition to its sustainable and customizable attributes, the shoe manufacturing concept holds the potential to drive local economies and reduce transportation. Leveraging 3D printing technology allows for local production, eliminating the need for extensive transportation of products. This not only reduces carbon emissions but also supports local communities and economies. Furthermore, the manufacturing process enables stock lifetime optimization and facilitates on-demand production, reducing waste even further.

The Lonati Group, HP, and Decathlon’s collaboration marks a significant milestone in the world of sustainable shoe manufacturing. With its emphasis on customization, repairability, recyclability, and local production, this innovative concept has the potential to reshape the footwear industry. As consumers increasingly seek environmentally conscious products that align with their individual preferences, the Lonati Group, HP, and Decathlon are leading the way toward a more sustainable and personalized future of footwear.

The new Decathlon sports shoes, a result of this remarkable partnership, embody the harmonious blend of cutting-edge technology, sustainable materials, and consumer-driven personalization. As the shoe industry takes a giant leap forward, it is clear that the future of footwear is here, and it is both environmentally friendly and tailored to the individual wearer’s needs.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *