Innovation That Matters

Customizing sneakers with removable stickers

Fashion & Beauty

Hard on the heels–so to speak–of our story about sneaker customization at Keds Studio last week comes another spotting in the world of customized footwear: Sneakart, a site that lets users personalize sneakers from any brand via specially designed removable stickers. Still in beta, UK-based Sneakart offers users the opportunity to customize their sneakers via Sneakskin, a super-thin, flexible, durable and waterproof graphic film that can be applied to white, light-coloured and metallic shoes. Printed with non-toxic ink in the UK, Sneakskin is 100 percent PVC-free and can be peeled off and replaced at will. It’s available either in sheets of individual stickers or in 22-by-29-cm sheets of patterns that the user can cut to fit the areas to be covered; either way, one or two sheets is typically enough to customize one pair of shoes, Sneakart says. Sneakart offers a wide variety of patterns and designs ranging in price from about GBP 4.95 to 5.95 per sheet, but users can also create their own artwork and upload it to the site. They can choose either to keep their design private, for their use only, or to make it public and offer it up for the use of others as well. The motivation to go public is considerable: each time a public design is purchased, Sneakart credits the designer’s account with 10 percent of the sale price, available either as a credit toward further Sneakart purchases or via direct payment. Sneakskin peels easily off its backing paper for application, and sticks on shoes with regular daily wear for a few months. Sneakart donates 10p from every order it receives to Street Kids International, and it has also offset its 2008 carbon footprint twice over through PURE’s renewable energy projects in India, Brazil and China. There’s no doubt customization is a good thing, but rewarding consumers for their customer-made innovations just may knock this one out of the park. Next, how about helping to bring this concept to other types of shoes, handbags or even cellphones and personal gadgets? (Related: New sneaker brand relies on crowds for design.) Spotted by: DawnRae Knoth



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