TAIPEI, Taiwan—Confronted with an ever-growing pile of old newspapers, Taiwanese fashion designer Colin Lin came up with the idea of using them to make shoes and tote bags for her environmentally friendly footwear company.

Lin, 50, says they are now hot items in Taiwan as well as markets from the United States to Europe, finding a niche with green-minded customers who have a fondness for novelty.

Since the products were launched late last year, the firm has sold about 4,000 pairs of shoes made of recycled papers, Lin said, a fraction of its many lines of footwear.

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