This biodegradable shoe is made from garbage and 3D knitting!

The sneaker culture encouraged creativity but also added a lot of waste as it is part of fast fashion. Traditional sneakers have a short lifespan and with the increase in “drops” people tend to buy and throw much faster. The complicated construction and the use of different materials (rubber, textile, various plastics, etc.) make their dismantling or recycling almost impossible and unprofitable.

The shoe is made from a lot of waste. The dog hair yarn (Chiengora) which is a biological waste in the process of recovery, it is innovation. Sneature is also biodegradable! The design takes into account the functional requirements of a trainer and individual customization by the user. The process uses 3D knitting technology that allows for customization and on-demand production while using the lowest possible energy consumption method.

The membrane is a protein-based 3D knit fabric made from dog hair. It carries the functional properties of flexibility, stiffness and airflow with a very second skin feel, similar to the style of sock sneakers we’ve seen. These materials have natural properties which ensure the absorption and release of water and antistatic properties. A thin layer of flexible bio-rubber / bioplastic forms the transition from the membrane to the sole. The membrane and sole junction is water repellent against splash or moisture from below while protecting the membrane in areas that wear out quickly. The transition also serves as a cushion and protects against rapid abrasion from all other areas to extend the life of the shoe. The sole is made of mushroom mycelium which can be used as a composite material with local plant waste. The area is designed to be made of bioplastics, which means that this material can be produced at home or in a manufacturer’s lab as do-it-yourself materials.

“The sneaker has been segmented into functional and structural areas (membrane, transition, sole) in order to implement the tested materials appropriately, taking into account the functional properties of the different areas. Due to the possible integration into an industrial production process, the membrane – the integrating core of the shoe – was created using a 3D knitting technique. In order to approach the problem and conceptualize a solution, a fundamental factor for the ecological properties of each product – the material has been examined. The design is based on a series of material experiments with natural raw fibers, ”Burfeind explains.

Designer: Emilie Burfeind

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