Swamp Chic Goes Mainstream This Summer With Algae Shoes

first_imgShoemaker Vivobarefoot is preparing an “ultra-eco” take on footwear.This summer, the London-based firm will launch a new version of its amphibious Ultra III sneaker—made using algae rescued from waterways.Along with partner Bloom—which uses algae biomass to make ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foams out of non-fossil fuels—Vivobarefoot aims to clean up the global shoe industry.“Our goal is to deliver the most performance-driven materials in the most environmentally responsible manner,” Bloom CEO Mike Van Drunen said in a statement. “It is a goal we constantly strive to improve upon, and we are excited to collaborate with Vivobarefoot on the new Ultra line.”Expected for release in July, the “ultimate amphibious adventure shoes” boast real-world rewards. For instance, a single pair of men’s size nine sneakers returns 57 gallons of clean water to habitats and prevents 40 balloons worth of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.“This is a true revolution for the footwear industry with the first plant-based alternative to the petro-foams in ubiquitous use,” Galahad Clark, founder of Vivobarefoot, said.via VivobarefootAccording to the firm, harmful algal blooms threaten marine environments by releasing damaging toxins, depleting oxygen in the water, and blocking sunlight, crippling ecosystems.“We are thrilled to be the first company to use Bloom in our shoes and further our mission to make the perfect shoe,” Clark said. “Perfect for feet and minimal impact on the planet.”Bloom recently gained international fame thanks to world champion surfer Kelly Slater, who released surfing traction pads using the eco-friendly foam.Adidas, meanwhile, last year launched a new shoe made from trash scooped out of the ocean, namely discarded fishing nets. The German manufacturer also introduced well-ventilated runners made from Biosteel—”the strongest fully natural material available.”Energy company NRG also joined the eco club by making a shoe built almost entirely out of carbon dioxide emissions.last_img read more