Derek Benedict

Exploring Ways in Which Sneaker Brands Can Approach Production Sustainably | A Research Paper

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Derek Benedict Advanced Research Seminar Fall 2018

Designer Statement:(Derek’s design style is sparked by a competitive mindset. Rooted in the crossroads of performance and empathy, his designs often aim to challenge behavioral tendencies and uses competition to make the experience fun.)

Through material research, the paper examines ways in which sneaker brands can approach production sustainably. The bulk of the paper studies biomaterials in contrast with conventional sneaker materials. Though designers and consumers are becoming increasingly aware to the magnitude that heaps of garbage are impacting our planet, sustainability is at its core an issue of materiality to be led by designers and biologists who can build materials to live seamlessly within Earth’s natural life cycle as plants and bacteria do.

Adidas Parley Parley & Adidas Collaborate on a running shoe utilizing thread made from recycled ocean plastic. Adidas has pledged to eliminate all plastic in its products by 2024

ParleyOceanPlastic1 Parley’s ocean plastic is ground up before it is spun into thread.

$325 Adidas collaborated with Stella McCartney on a vegan remake of the Stan Smith sneaker. It retails for $325.

Pelcor Cork Skin Pelcor makes sneakers and many other products from a sustainable cork skin material.

Mushroom Roots Mycellium roots grow and cling onto the substrate they grow within. The substrate affects the material’s final properties.

MuSkin Mushroom Leather The company MuSkin makes a mushroom leather.

MycoFlex Foam Ecovative’s MycoFlex foam takes on flexible properties.

MycoLeather MycoLeather is MycoWorks’ take on mushroom leather.

Pineapple Leather Pineapple leather is made from remains after the fruit is removed.

Spiber Jacket Spiber collaborated with North Face to make this entirely spider-woven parka.

MicroSilk, Bolt Threads Spiber spins real spider silk for its incredibly strong & resistant properties.

Wild Rubber_Field Coagulated Latex Field-coagulated latex is a wild rubber that can be formed in blocks.

The Peoples Movement The People’s Movement - Eco-conscious shoes made with recycled cleaned plastic bags.

Veja Veja - an ethical French Brand makes their sneakers from recycled plastic & wild rubber.

Apple Leather MC 8903-01 Apple leather can be made from the outer skin once the apple have been crushed for juice.

Zoa Shirt Modern Meadow Modern Meadow grow leather in a lab. Their product, Zoa, is expected hit market in 2020.

CO2 factory Carbon-capture factories can use carbon extracted from the air to manufacture products, like shoe soles.

no glue shoe 3 These shoes are designed to assemble without glue so they don’t make factory workers sick.

Algae - Dutch designers Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros have developed a bioplastic made from algae Bioplastic can be made from algae

new-lab-september-2016-02 NewLab is a hub for innovative companies in tech and sustainability. This year they’re hosting Biofabricate.

nike-shoe-cost This info-graphic expresses the importance of relationships between design, manufacture, and retail.

MycoWorks 1 Life-cycle analysis of footwear using MycoWorks leather.

MycoWorks 2 Leather comparisons as illustrated by MycoWorks

MycoWorks 3 Leather and footwear market share, as illustrated by MycoWorks.

Allbirds SweetFoam Sole Allbirds’ SweetFoam sole made from sugarcane

Allbirds Recycled Plastic Laces Allbirds used one recycled water bottle to make a pair of its shoe laces.

Nike Flyknit Nike Flyknit reduces waste materials

Nike Flyprint Uppers Nike’s Flyprint technology reduces waste almost completely.

Nike Flyprint Process The Flyprint process was motivated by Nike’s top marathon runners.

Nike Grind-Hero Nike’s Grind program recycles materials to be re-used in store displays and athletic fields.

AMSilk BioSteel Upper-1 AMSilk and Adidas collaborated on a spider-silk upper that biodegrades once it’s soaked in a solution.

Nak vegan leather shoes Nak produces PETA-approved vegan and cruelty free leather shoes.

Rothy's Recycled Plastic Knit Rothy’s knits their shoes with a yarn made from recycled water bottles.

Cornish-synthetic-rubber Ohio State researchers have developed an synthetic -rubber alternative to carbon black fillers found in tires.

Fortress of Inca Workers Fortess of Inca: “We believe the people who make our shoes are just as important as the people who buy them.”

Bluesign Report App Bluesign provides services and rankings to connect consumers to brands that fit their sustainability values.

AlgiKnit Dye Workshop-1 Algalife uses the versatile properties of algae to make dyes.

Zoa Modern Meadow Modern Meadow’s Zoa leather is created by re-sequencing DNA from animal proteins.

oil rig More than 50% of global industrial emissions since 1988 can be traced to just 25 companies.