Chipmaker TSMC's silicon waste recycled into shoes – $41 eco-friendly Ccilu branded footwear now available in the US

(Image credit: YouTube / 中央社)

An enterprising company called Ccilu sells footwear that uses TSMC’s recycled silicon waste. These shoes are available in the US for $41.40. The company's first TSMC trash-infused product was a pair of pressure relief slippers that launched last year. The Taiwanese firm has now added massage slippers and sports shoes using the same materials, reports Focus Taiwan.

Ccilu has an interesting company history. It was founded in 2012, by an ex-Citibank exec, and now CEO of Ccliu, Wilson Hsu. It wasn’t easy to make an impression in the footwear market, but a couple of years before the Covid pandemic hit, eco-friendly initiatives seemed to create a worthwhile impact. Thus Ccilu launched a range of recycled coffee grounds footwear, the Xpresole family, and a range of shoes created from recycled PET bottles, the GreenPlax family.

Last year, Ccilu became the first company to introduce silicon waste into footwear. It worked with TSMC’s silicon waste treatment partner Semisils Applied Materials Corp. and came up with a range of pressure relief slippers.

“Sacred shoes”

How do you use something as rigid as silicon in a shoe design? If you look at the footwear using this recycled waste, a common feature is the presence of reflexology pressure-point orbs embedded in the sole. These are supposed to have beneficial health properties, massaging your feet as you go about your daily business.

Ccilu recycled silicon shoes

(Image credit: Focus Taiwan)

Hsu seems very pleased to have got a deal to work with TSMC, however indirectly. “TSMC has been dubbed the 'sacred mountain' to protect Taiwan,” the Ccilu CEO told Focus Taiwan, “and why would Ccilu not roll out 'sacred shoes' made of TSMC's silicon waste.” Moreover, this is another successful step in creating a circular economy, reckons Hsu.

Positive environmental impacts of recycling the TSMC silicon waste rather than land-filling it are claimed to be as follows (figures per pair of shoes):

  • Crude oil consumption reduced by 0.5 liters
  • Carbon emissions reduced by 1 kg

From its stuttering start just over a decade ago, Ccilu recently won a National Sustainable Development Award from Taiwan's National Council for Sustainable Development. It has also worked with well-known global brands like Warner Bros, producing co-brand shoes for Wonder Woman and Batman. Ccilu footwear is also a PGA Tour partner with golf shoes made of ocean waste.

If you are interested in acquiring some TSMC silicon packing shoes, if only for the geeky bragging rights, we found the firm’s website open and ready for footwear orders from US residents. It isn’t perfectly clear exactly which shoes feature TSMC silicon, but we know the Stepping Stones sandals feature recycled silicon orbs in the sole and appear to be on sale, with prices cut from $69.00 to $41.40 at the time of writing. US shipping fees are free for orders over $80, or $8 otherwise.

(Image credit: Ccilu)

Ccilu recently decided to go through a rebranding exercise. So, while the web address remains at and you will see many products on-site with this logo on them, going forward, the corporate identity will be ‘-cilu.’ Apparently, removing a ‘c’ and adding a negative symbol (-) “symbolizes our promise to further reduce our carbon emissions.”

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.