From the meeting between Korean designer Dong Seon Lee and Neapolitan product manager Giuliana Borzillo, a start-up was born that is about to launch a first collection of sustainable sneakers completely free of animal components.
We are talking about ID.LAB, which has created the ID.EIGHT line of shoes, made using food industry waste.
More specifically, these are inedible fruit and vegetable scraps, such as apple and grape marc. Fibres derived from pineapple leaves are then used to make three types of imitation leather suitable for creating the actual shoes.
These are Pinatex, from the waste leaves of Philippine pineapples, Pelle-Mela and Vegea textile (from the bio-polymerisation of grape marc).
Each trainer in its entirety is made from recycled materials, even the soles are made from recycled rubber as are the laces from polyester and the uppers from Lycra.
But there is an extra treat: the box in which the shoes are packaged and sold.
The packaging is designed to be totally green, not only is the box made of recycled paper but inside there is a nice surprise: a bomb of native flower seeds to be planted in pots or in the garden to attract bees (and we know how important it is to encourage the wellbeing of these insects for the planet and biodiversity).
The first collection consists of two models: Duri and Hana, both casual and unisex (and all the shoes will be) with the aim of promoting gender fluid, i.e. avoiding separation by gender.
Finally, these are ethical shoes, and not only because of how they are made: the product chain is in fact controlled, from the materials to the transport, which will be entrusted to companies that do not exploit workers and respect trade union rights.