The first truly biodegradeable trainer is here. Made from gelatine and glycerine and then 3-D printed the trainers can be fully dismantled and home-composted.
As the sneaker industry grows their disposal is becoming an environmental issue. Trainers weather with time, as do shoes in general. However, traditional sneakers use strong adhevises to attach the plastics to the polyurethane foam base—this prevents the materials from being separated and thus recycled.
Industrial designer from New Zealand Rik Olthuis has designed a shoe made from biodegradeable materials: gelatine and glycerine—manufacturing the first truly eco-friendly shoe: the Voronoi Runner.
The upper part was inspired from AllBirds sneakers and is made from merino wool. The foam base is made from glycerine and gelatine and replaces mainstream polyurethane foams. The midsoles and soles are plant-fibres and can be 3-D printed to measure—each wearer can have a customized sole.
Keeping up with current sneakers by scanning the foot and creating a 3D printed midsole and sole structure to be filled with foam. This way the midsole meets the force distribution and support needs of the individual foot—Rik Olthuis
There are no adhesives, instead the shoe is tied, stitched and wrapped to a 3-D printed skeleton—that can be removed. All the parts can be easily disassembled to be home composted.
Constructed using biodegradable 3D print filament, merino wool, bio foam and linen, the Voronoi Runner uses no glues in construction so that the shoe can be dissembled and composted separately at the end of its useful life.