Speedboat Concept

Upcycling Project I


Problem -> Opportunity

  Bike inner tubes do not biodegrade and often become waste and break down into microplastics that harm the ocean and soil.
How to utilize design thinking to leverage the material properties and repurpose the material to extend its life cycle?


“I have generated a huge amount of punctured inner tubes in the past and it has become a challenge to dispose of them responsibly besides returning them to the bike shops.”

Mission: Reintroduce the inner tube materials to the footwear manufacturing process with the aim of building a more sustainable cycling community.

Material Experimentation


Sole prototyping

“Joints” midsole prototyping

Speedboat Concept

Upcycling Project II



Design a crafting guide that enables the bikers to DIY a pair of shoes using the busted bike inner tubes to ultimately promote the upcycling mindset and renew the material cycle. 

Materials Needed:

Busted bike inner tubes X2 / Scissors / Sharp knife / Ruler / Shoe insoles (optional, for added comfort) / Shoe laces or elastic cord (optional)
1. Piping  2. Logos  3. Upper  4. Tongue  5. Interfacing  6. Lining  (Material: Bike inner tube size 1.25 in)


  1. Clean the inner tubes thoroughly to remove any dirt and debris
  2. Lay the tubes flat and cut them open along the seams
  3. Place the templates on the sheet, trace around them, and cut out the pieces carefully.
  4. Line up the pieces and stitch them together to make a larger sheet of rubber.
  5. Trim off the extra materials along the trim line around the toe area.
  6. Coat the heel overlapping area with contact adhesive and top stitch over to reinforce the structure.
  7. Last the upper over your shoe last and make sure it is properly stretched out.

(Sample photos below)


©2023 Jason liao