Innovation That Matters

The dissolved solution is non-toxic and can safely be poured away in the kitchen sink | Photo source Woolybubs

Baby shoes that dissolve in water 

Fashion & Beauty

The brand uses recycled plastic and offers a free take-back service

Spotted: Spending $20,000 (around €18,800) or more on a new baby in its first year of life is not unusual, with many families spending far more, particularly in countries without universal health care. Many of the items bought for a new baby are plastic, and newborn clothes get outgrown quickly, producing an amount of waste far in excess of the infant’s size. 

Rather than give up on buying new baby clothes, one couple turned their love of fashionable baby accessories into a sustainable shoe company. Woolybubs provides three styles of infant and toddler shoes that are fully recyclable or biodegradable.  

The Woolybub bootie and Toddle shoe are made from recycled plastics, and the company operates a free take-back service: when a pair of shoes is no longer needed, consumers pop the shoes into the post, and Woolybubs then composts, recycles, or donates the shoes depending on their condition. 

The company’s newest shoe, the Newbie, is fully biodegradable. Made from a new polymer that is safe to pour into domestic pipes once dissolved, owners can dissolve the shoes completely in a pot of boiling water in less than an hour. The shoes still stand up to the rain, snow, and dirt of typical wear. Development plans for the brand include increasing the range of shoe sizes and growing into a kids’ footwear company, instead of just babies and toddlers.  

Springwise has spotted other ways that innovators are helping reduce the environmental footprint of children, including sew-your-own kits for children’s clothes, and a subscription service for baby clothes that ensures each item is worn by six children.

Written By: Keely Khoury




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