Social norms have taught us that wearing shoes is a must if you expect clean carpets and prompt service at gas stations. Although there’s nothing more freeing than going barefoot on a summer’s day, it’s tough to argue with a nice warm pair of shoes during the more inclement seasons.
One problem with shoes is that it’s hard to know what to do with them when they are worn or damaged beyond repair. Some recycling programs exist, but they often require shipping or other inconvenient processes to get them to the right recycling facility.
That’s why one European company decided to integrate a sustainable disposal option right into the shoe itself, putting the responsibility (and joy) of recycling back into the hands (or should I say onto the feet?) of the people who wear them.
Based in Amsterdam, OAT Shoes is a brand-new initiative in shoe design combining attractive style and biodegradable materials to produce sneakers that not only look good, but leave no mark on the environment when you throw them out. Bury them in the garden, woods or compost, water regularly and flowers will bloom from your old kicks!
“The future of fashion lies in a reconciliation between nature and industry,” say the creators on their (soon to be old) website. “OAT Shoes strives to lead the way to that future.”
Many leaders in the sustainable fashion industry are convinced that mainstream adoption of more environmentally-friendly clothing will only occur when people see that they no longer have to choose between “green” and “stylish.” The more often these two qualities can reside in the same product, the more likely it is to be appreciated by a wide audience.
The OAT Shoes creators agree:
“Considering the amount of sexy sneakers out there, odds are style is what makes the difference and we can’t really blame you, because that’s how we choose our shoes,” reads the current website. “Still, we don’t agree with the situation: we want to be able to choose green and style. And since that doesn’t seem to exist, we decided to take the first step with OAT Shoes. May it cater to all of you in search of some conscious style!”