Who doesn’t love their sneakers? They are the most comfortable shoes I own and I literally run their soles down until I am literally walking on pavement. I go through 2 pairs a year. So, I was beyond excited when I read about OAT biodegradable shoes being made by Christiaan Maats and his team at OAT Shoes in the Netherlands.
Yes, you heard me right. The whole sneaker is biodegradable. Laces to sole. These adorable shoes come in white with four different colored soles along with a wildflower seed package. So not only are these sneakers functional and stylish, they will produce a flower bed for you! That’s a hard working shoe.
What’s the big deal about biodegradable sneakers?
In 2010, more than $17 billion sporting shoes were sold in the world according to the National Sporting Goods Association. Now, realize this number includes all types of sporting shoes, but I would gather most of those shoes are sneakers. And where are all those shoes going at the end of their life? Chose between these three choices: a landfill, a dump, or a bigger landfill.
Some, however, are going to Nike to be reused to make playgrounds or other sports facilities. While other gently used shoes may be re-used at these fine organizations. The rest. You got it. The old dump.
So, now do you understand why I am so excited? Wear your shoes and then bury them in your garden! I am not the only one excited. They won second prize at the Green Fashion Awards during the Amsterdam International Fashion week.
What are the shoes made of?
I wish I knew. Their website really needs more information, but they seem to be really busy getting their product ready to be sold. From their comments on their blog, the canvas is made out of hemp. As for the chemicals used, they state:
“[W]e’ve managed to avoid having any toxic or harmful chemicals end up in the shoes. The hemp is bleached, but it’s a low-impact peroxide bleach – certified ÖkoTex 100-, no chlorine. The colors are all certified biodegradable pigments.”
Where Can I buy them?
This question seems to asked a lot in the comments of their blog. I just wanted to know if the male model came with the shoes. (Don’t tell the hubby I asked this.) According to the Company, they are expected to start selling in the Spring at selected stores in the Netherlands and Belgium, and will expand to other stores in Europe. In addition, they will be opening an online store.
As for the US and Canada, I received the following email response:
“There might be a small chance to release a very limited amount of the Virgin Collection to the US and Canada – but nothing final yet, fingers crossed!”
Stay tuned to their Facebook page as to upcoming events.
And the Price?
I was a little sticker shocked when I saw the price. EUR 149 /$201.30 for the red/blue pairs, and EUR139 /$187.79 for the green/yellow pairs. (Note, I converted the EU prices so when they start the online site, the dollar amount of the shoes might be different.)
Join the conversation:
- What do you think of these shoes?
- Would you buy them because of their style or environmental attributes? Or both?
- Would you bury your shoes?