Adidas has unveiled a new shoe featuring biodegradable fabric that’s designed to break down within hours of its disposal using a water and enzyme solution.
The one catch: the current design appears to be attached to a foam sole ― suggesting that a large portion of the shoe would still end up in a landfill.
Adidas’ Futurecraft Biofabric was presented at last week’s Biofabricate conference in New York. The unique design features a synthetic spider silk called Biosteel that is 100 percent biodegradable, according to the shoemaker.
The sneaker, which touts itself as the first biodegradable shoe of its kind, is currently just a prototype but the company expects it to become a commercial product by next year, Wired reported.
Deer Stags Bound Slip On Loafer Black K30n7520,Stacy Adams Corrado Oxford Black Buffalo D36k6949,Giorgio Brutini Crosby Slip On Black Z14q2990,
Stacy Adams Lex Moc Toe Slip On Black N52m1740,Stacy Adams Reeve Plain Toe Oxford Black G92r2537,Nunn Bush Archie Plain Toe Slip On Light Gray Stretch G71d9152,
Stacy Adams Flynn Moc Toe Slip On Loafer Black Suede Q23x4169,Stacy Adams Callahan Wing Tip Oxford Brown Oiled Pull-Up K26e2455,Nunn Bush Esker Slip On Sneaker Prairie Beige M68q1318,
According to Gizmodo, users simply place the shoes in water and add a digestion enzyme called proteinase that will cause the protein-based yarn to decompose within 36 hours.
“This process is 100% natural,” an Adidas spokesperson told the news site. “The shoe would not dissolve if worn in rainy weather conditions, for example, as the presence of proteinase is all important to the process.”
At far as what happens to the sole, an Adidas spokesman stressed to HuffPost that different, more sustainable material “might be taken into consideration” should the shoe go into production.
“Futurecraft Biofabric is a prototype that is meant to show where the industry can go,” Vinti Bhatnagar said in an email Tuesday. “Recycling footwear can be an energy intense process and if we have an upper that doesn’t need to be recycled that helps.”
Bhatnagar also noted that Adidas debuted last December a 3D-printed midsole concept made out of recycled ocean plastic.
This article has been updated with an additional statement from Adidas.
Today’s current Futurecraft Biofabric shoe prototype otherwise appears to feature Adidas’ Ultra Boost outsole, which according to the company’s website is composed of elastic foam particles called thermoplastic polyurethane or TPU.
Vans Camden Deluxe Sneaker Grey/White Leather J41o2365,Giorgio Brutini Roan Wing Tip Oxford Gray Leather K69i8577,Tommy Hilfiger Russ Sneaker Navy/Navy W98i4375,
Adidas Neo Daily Vulc Low Top Sneaker Black/Black/White F10v3068,Dockers Kesington Plain Toe Oxford Brown Leather P65h4099,Skechers Floater Sneaker Black/Gray Y74u7917,
Nike Nike Sb Portmore Ultralight Skate Shoe Grey/Grey/White Z3h7737,Florsheim Curtis Bicycle Toe Oxford Brown U29b4872,Steve Madden Peerow High Top Sneaker Tan O41j9581,
Beyond this current sole, Adidas presses that this new Biosteel fabric is not just beneficial for the environment, but for athletes too.
The silk is said to be 15 percent lighter than traditional polymer shoes, as well as stronger. The fiber is further described as 100 percent vegan and offering controlled moisture management. It also takes far less energy to manufacture than regular polymer shoes.
“With this development we are setting new standards regarding the functionality of renewable textiles,” Jens Klein, CEO of AMSilk, which produced the silk, said in a statement.
Can’t wait for their release? Adidas also recently unveiled a new line of sneakers that are made from recycled plastic taken from the ocean ― again, the sole appears to be made out of foam.
Propet Gary Medium/X-Wide/Xx-Wide Velcro Strap Sneaker Black Leather F16m8760,Clarks Garren Plain Toe Oxford Taupe Leather Z42z6895,Skechers After Burn M Fit Final Cut Memory Foam Sneaker Black B69y1815,
Skechers Go Solar Wide Walking Shoe Black D60n2407,Florsheim Welles Cap Toe Oxford Black R50v1892,New Balance 857 Training Shoe White H80a4054,
Skechers Bobs Pureflex Chevron Memory Foam Slip On Black W33w1218,Clarks Hawkley Walk Plain Toe Oxford Tan Leather V100u9838,Aerosoles Teashop Medium/Wide Flat Black Fabric L37j9818,
“The shoes’ laces, heel cap base material, heel webbing, heel lining and the sock-liner cover are also made with recycled materials,” Adidas states in a release. “Its design is inspired by ocean waves, to reflect the shoe’s unique story and adidas and Parley’s commitment to end the cycle of pollution in the oceans.”
The shoes are slated for release sometime this month.
This story has been updated with a comment from an Adidas spokesman.