The shoes designed to dissolve away to nothing
LIFESTYLE | March 26, 2017

The shoes designed to dissolve away to nothing

"Why on earth would I want my shoes to dissolve?"" ...we can hear you muttering under your breath! Well, the clever designers at Adidas believe that these strange and wonderful treads could be a giant step beyond the standard eco-no-no trainer in everyone's wardrobe. Here's why this is officially a big deal...


'Fast Fashion' leads to an environmental hangover

Each year in the UK, we throw out over a million tonnes of used clothing and footwear, sometimes because items are worn out or damaged, yet often because they''re simply no longer 'acceptable' in our fashionable wardrobes.

To give you some idea of the amount of material ending up in our landfill sites due to fashion's dictates, that''s the equivalent of filling a couple of Shards with our old stuff each and every year.

Whilst there''s been great progress made on the part of the wonderful Slow Fashion movement and we are getting better at donating and selling on our clothes rather than chucking them in the bin, we have to face facts. The overwhelmingly abundant and cheap Fast Fashion found on our High Streets isn''t likely to be going anywhere soon... and we have to come up with a way to deal with the enormous amount of waste it causes.


But what if we could 'disappear' our fashion items when we're finished with them?

The team at Adidas decided to tackle this problem head on, looking at what they know best: trainers. What if they could create a trainer material that was strong enough to last a decent couple of years or more pounding the streets, yet which then could be bio-degraded away to nothing at a time of our choosing? A completely practical, zero-waste shoe, in other words.

Just goes to show that when you aim high, amazing things happen, because they''ve succeeded...


These shoes may look like your standard polyester-mix runner, but let''s take a closer look at the fabric upper...


This breathable mesh is woven from a man-made fibre that replicates the structure of silk. Known as 'Biosteel'... - cool name, right?... - biotech researchers have found it to be both the strongest natural fibre ever tested and 15% lighter than standard plastic polyester fibres.


But here's the really cool part...

The 'Biosteel' fabric is tough enough to handle the workout schedule of a Brownlee brother, however, immerse the trainers in a bucket of water with a packet of a special enzyme and within 36 hours, all you'll have left are a couple of clean soles and a harmless 'soup' of biodegraded natural chemicals that you can pour away safely down the sink!

Whilst we think they deserve all the plaudits for this incredible discovery, we'd have to give the Adidas team an 'incomplete' on this assignment as they''re yet to discover a similar material for the soles, so these remain, unfortunately, non-biodegradable. Still, onwards and upwards...


What do you think of the idea of 'dissolvable shoes'? Share your thoughts and comments with us here or via Twitter and Facebook!


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