Just when you thought you’d seen it all, Adidas creates a biodegradable sneaker.
Personally, I never had the need for a disposable shoe, but I’m sure many others find the product interesting. In fact, a lightweight running shoe, which I can throw away instead of clean, is kind of appealing.
This shoe is phenomenal, and it sounds cool because it’s made from an innovative material called “spider silk”. It’s a biodegradable sneaker that can be worn for up to 2 years before decomposition – that’s a lot of running time. After it’s seen its best days, the shoe can be disposed of in the sink. It’s as simple as that. All but the sole of the shoe will disappear down the drain.
How this works
The process of disposal is a little more complicated than just running water over the product. When the life of the shoe is spent, it is submerged into sink water and a digestive enzyme, called proteinase, is added to the mix. After 36 hours of soaking, the protein based yarn is liquefied and can be poured down the drain. And of course, the foam sole, the only leftover part of the shoe, will need to be thrown out with the trash.
Where the real attraction lies
What’s most attractive about this creation is its lightweight form. For runners, lightweight shoes are a must, and they can be quite expensive as well. What’s more, some lightweight shoes may wear out quickly creating a need for constant upgrades. Disposable shoes will have to be replaced, as well, but at a lower cost to consumers.
Another perk is that the shoes are made from vegan and non-allergenic materials. This widens the target market and opens rare customer access to the shoe. It’s basically a genetically modified bacteria which forms a textile referred to as Biosteel.
With such high standard material, you would think costs would hit the roof, but they don’t. In fact, manufacturing costs are greatly reduced using only a fraction of electricity and fossil fuels.
It’s not the first time when the German footwear giant presents a concept of a sustainable shoe. In 2015, the company created innovative sneakers made entirely from ocean trash.
Science just continues to baffle and amaze us, doesn’t it?
Image credit: Adidas