I am not among those who own many pairs of shoes. I usually have two pairs for the winter and two pairs for the summer: don't ask me why, it will be my paraphilia. This has drawbacks: for example, I probably keep my shoes on longer than I should. But having too many is also a problem. Nearly one billion pairs of shoes are thrown away every year and end up in landfills. It takes up to 40 years to decompose.
Noting the environmental impact that shoes have on the earth, Laura Muth has created “Shoes with an Expiration Date”, a prototype of modular sneakers made entirely of compostable material. Shoes with the expiration date.
The oil in the shoes
In general, fast-fashion uses carbon-intensive and non-renewable resources (such as petrochemical fabrics) to build items such as shoes. This makes the industry one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in circulation today. Although the prototype shoe with an expiration date is not ready for the market, the designer aims to create a pair of shoes whose expiration date is much shorter than that of shoes made from non-renewable resources such as plastic.
Eliminating the toxic glue for an isolable and modular structure, the individual parts of “Shoes with an expiration date” are tied together with a sort of lace, or rather a compostable “cage”.
Shoes with an expiration date: how they are made
The "shoes with an expiration date" are handmade with compostable materials of local origin. The sole is shaped with comfort and support in mind: it's made with latex extract derived from dandelion root, straw, sawdust e natural dyes. The rope and side support that hold the shoe together are made from cellulose felt e woven hemp. As mentioned, the bottom sole is soft and supportive but doesn't feel as durable and tough as the plastic ones currently available on the market.
The aesthetic factor (the designer also says so) will improve with the next prototypes.
Shoes with an expiration date could be useful for fledgling “subscription” services like On Cyclon, who are involved in creating “circular” shoes. you pay a small annual sum and you always have a new shoe: when it is worn out, they withdraw and regenerate it. Nothing ends up in landfills anymore.