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Recyclable, Waterproof and Comfortable – Is This Really a Shoe?

Zing Boutique in downtown Port Washington offers a unique line of women's shoes that offer more perks than just covering your feet.

Port Washington business owner Deb Neulreich sells a unique item in her store that both offers comfort to users but also leaves a very small footprint on the environment.

The product, shoes made by Oka-b — a company based in Buford, GA (just north of Atlanta) — is entirely U.S. made, 100 percent recyclable and waterproof.

"I just noticed right away that they were really well made, and I like that they were manufactured right in (the USA)," said Neulreich, of Zing Boutique. Neulrich has had the product in her store for several years, and first learned of them because an employee of the company has family in Port Washington.

"The price point was reasonable, and they were cute of course," she said of her decision to add the line to the store.

"They're probably less well-known in the Midwest just because we have fewer seasons (when you can wear them)," she said, adding that they are also great because the material is easy to clean — meaning white shoes can stay white.

The company strongly promotes its recycling practices on its website.

"Our low-waste factory ... recycles everything from sandals and flip flops to boxes and other raw materials," the company's website says. "We encourage all of our loyal customers to recycle. Once we receive the shoes, they are ground into small usable particles that are blended at a specific weight ratio with unused material. ... Any material that is deemed unusable in our process is sold to a company that turns it into industrial mats."

Stop by Zing, 302 N Franklin St., to check out the store's collection.

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