Home LifestyleArt and Culture Entrepreneurs in Quintana Roo create sandals based on Sargassum

Entrepreneurs in Quintana Roo create sandals based on Sargassum

by Magali Alvarez
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Sargassum continues to be one of the main environmental problems facing the Mexican Caribbean, as year after year the amount of sargassum that lands on the coast has increased significantly. However, in Playa del Carmen a company has found a very original way to process this seaweed.

It is Seaweed Sandals, which together with laboratories and specialized companies, has found the formula to make sandals from this seaweed. According to the owner of the company, Mario Alberto Robledo Garavito, during his change of residence to the state, he became aware of the sargassum problem.

“We detected this sargassum problem and wanted to help in some way, we already have a year developing this together with important people and companies. We started to see what the solution was and that is where the idea of transforming the sargassum into footwear was born.”

Robledo points out that to start with the creation of this footwear, it is necessary to collect the sargazo that is still in the sea, since the sargazo that reaches the beaches is totally contaminated and dirty, which makes it unsuitable for this process.

“We are working with Sargazo Solutions, they already have years in this. They wash it several times and after the washing and drying process, it is compressed in special machines and sent to a mill where it comes out clean and powdered”.

It requires the processing of tons of sargassum to obtain one kilogram of this sargassum powder, which is taken to laboratories in Leon, Guanajuato, where it is combined with a polymer known as ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA).

“EVA is basically an injected raw material and it is brought from the United States, because it is almost never manufactured in Mexico. It is a material used in Adidas, Crocs or Nike tennis shoes, which already come with an anti-fungus and anti-moisture formula that prevents odors”.

Once the EVA is fused with the sargassum powder, it is pelletized, a process in which small spheres are made that pass through a machine in which the shape of the last of the sandal is given and then the insole.

“We are working with a laboratory to have this insole made of synthetic leather based on twill and especially for insole, that gives us the security that there is not going to be any problem with the skin.”

According to Robledo, the estimated price for each pair of sandals will be 777 pesos or 40 dollars for the general public and they are available in beige, black and sargassum color. In addition, they are exploring distribution agreements to offer a wholesale scheme that will benefit both distributors and points of sale, generating employment and economic growth in the region.

“We have already been given the green light to put the sandals on the certified beaches of Playa del Carmen, so very soon you will be seeing the sandals in the stores near Playa del Carmen.

TYT Newsroom

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