Over the past few months, we embarked on a transformative journey to revolutionize the landscape of sneaker design and production. Our BioSneaker series, a three-part exploration into compostable footwear, aimed to tackle the significant environmental impact of the footwear industry.
The BioSneaker journey was all about reimagining the entire process from design to end-of-life. Yael Joyce Vantu, our Chief Product Officer, and Galy Levy, Head of Research and Development, spearheaded this comprehensive year-long initiative, leading a dedicated team committed to pushing the boundaries of innovation and circularity in the footwear industry. all with the aim of creating a fully compostable sneaker, replacing harmful components with biodegradable materials.
Series 1: BioSneaker Research & Development
Embarking on the journey to create a fully compostable sneaker, our first strategic move was to eliminate harmful components, ushering in a new era of sustainability by embracing biodegradable materials. A standout feature of the BioSneaker is the use of Balena's proprietary BioCir®flex for the sole – an advanced-performance, flexible, durable, biobased, and fully compostable thermoplastic elastomer, which enables mass production through versatile methods like injection molding, extrusion, and 3D printing, thereby revolutionizing the manufacturing process. We replaced traditional eyelets with embroidered details, a subtle yet impactful change contributing to the overall sustainability of the BioSneaker. This shift away from conventional materials, such as plastics and metals, represents a crucial step towards crafting a circular product. After their creation, we distributed the BioSneaker to testers for real-world wear and tear ad upon completion of the testing phase they were sent back to us for valuable feedback.
Click here to watch Series 1 >>>
Series 2: BioSneaker Shredding
As part of an exciting and fun experiment, our marketing team stumbled upon a video featuring someone shredding a cellphone (crazy we know!). Intrigued and fueled by curiosity, the team decided to embark on a similar experiment. Led by Galy, our Head of Research and Development, the decision was made to shred our innovative BioSneaker at the Balena lab! Shredding is is an essential step in the composting process, ensuring efficient and effective breakdown of materials for biodegradation.
Click here to witness how this experiment unfolded >>>
Series 3: End-Of-Life
After the exhilarating shredding phase, we transitioned to the most crucial aspect of the circularity cycle – the end of life. With a commitment to sustainable practices, we took the shredded remains of our BioSneaker to our trusted partners' industrial compost facility for burial in the compost.
This step marked the culmination of our dedication to closing the loop on the product life cycle. By opting for composting, we ensured that the BioSneaker shreds would undergo biodegradation, contributing to a cleaner and more environmentally friendly approach to disposal. This holistic process underscores our mission to create products that not only excel in performance and design but also prioritize the responsible and circular management of their life cycle.
Watch our final series here >>>
Learn more about the Biosneaker here >>>
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