Did you know that thousands of ballet pointe shoes go to waste each year? Although pointe shoes are mostly made out of organic materials such as leather, satin, cotton and cardboard, once the materials are assembled altogether, they are not easily recyclable and they can’t be re-used as pointe shoes because after just a few uses the shoes lose their structural integrity and are deemed dead, then discarded.
Ozgem (Founder and President of KO2 Consulting) stumbled upon this large waste source while watching a ballet documentary and set out to find ways to upcycle the used pointe shoes to be wearable objects, interior design finishes and furniture items (patent pending). And with that, Petit Pas was born with a circular economy business model.
Ozgem was then introduced to the School of American Ballet (SAB) team to collaborate with Petit Pas to reduce the school’s carbon footprint and also to raise funds for the students’ toe-shoe fund through a portion of the net proceeds from the sale of each Petit Pas item that is made out of the discarded pointe shoes collected from SAB.
Since Petit Pas is a waste diversion product, it is important to keep the carbon footprint of the upcycled products to a minimum. This is accomplished by working with a local manufacturer in Manhattan’s Fashion District to make the first line of wearable objects: high-quality, chic, one-of-a-kind, hand-made, upcycled bracelets. Petit Pas’ line of products will continue to be produced locally and support the local economy, while a portion of the net proceeds will support the student dancers.
Petit Pas is very excited to team with SAB and appreciates the support of many experts in the industy including but not limited to Ozgem Ornektekin, Marica Rizzo, Lisa McFadin, Sara Stein, Margaret Watson, Sidsel Robards, Courtney Co. and Lily Shames Family Photography.