Environment

Eco-friendly shoes combine "base" soles with zip-on uppers

Eco-friendly shoes combine "ba...
The Chukka-style skin, getting zipped onto one of the soles
The Chukka-style skin, getting zipped onto one of the soles
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The Sneaker-style skin
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The Sneaker-style skin
The Chukka-style skin, getting zipped onto one of the soles
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The Chukka-style skin, getting zipped onto one of the soles
The Jogger-style skin
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The Jogger-style skin

While it's nice to own multiple styles of shoes, each one of the things has a big rubber sole that will ultimately end up in the landfill. Made2Share shoes are different, in that they incorporate a single set of soles that accommodate various zip-on uppers.

Developed by Italian startup ACBC, each Made2Share setup consists of one pair of the rubber soles, along with multiple sets of fabric uppers known as "skins." Because the two components simply zip together, wearers can quickly swap one style of skin for another, whenever the mood hits them.

Depending on the model, the skins are made either entirely out of a beechwood-derived material known as Tencel, or a combination of Tencel and a leather-like material called Piñatex, which is derived largely from pineapple-leaf agricultural waste. Both materials are claimed to be strong and breathable.

The Jogger-style skin
The Jogger-style skin

Once the skins get worn out, their plastic zippers are cut off by the user, for recycling. In the case of the Tencel-only skins, the rest of the material can simply be thrown in a compost heap, where it will fully biodegrade. Piñatex is currently not completely biodegradable, although its makers are reportedly working on changing that.

The soles, on the other hand, are made of a mixture of bamboo-derived rubber, algae-based foam, cork (for the insoles) and a material called BioVeg – it consists of corn industry waste and recycled bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic. Once those soles wear out, users ship them back to ACBC, where they're ground up and used in shock-absorbing flooring sheets.

Should you be interested, Made2Share shoes are currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A package consisting of one pair of soles and three sets of skins can be had for a pledge of US$199, assuming the shoes reach production – the planned retail price is 30 percent higher. Backers can choose between four colors and the three presently-available skin styles: Sneaker, Jogger and Chukka.

Source: Kickstarter

1 comment
paul314
Just btw, tencel is closely related to rayon, which has been around since the 1840s. I takes a fair amount of mechanical, thermal and chemical processing to go from vegetable matter to the final product. Whenever a manufacturer says their product comes from a particular green-sounding plant source, a yellow flag should go up in your head.