Innovation That Matters

Recycled sneaker

New shoes made from recycled gum


A fashion company is marketing a new sneaker with soles made from recycled gum.

Earlier this year we covered an innovative way of recycling gum into new products. It was developed by British company Gumdrop. Gumdrop places used-gum collection boxes on streets and other areas. Users place their chewed gum in to the box and then box and gum together are recycled into new plastic products. Now, Gumdrop is partnering with fashion brand Explicit and Amsterdam city marketing agency IAmsterdam. Together they are developing Gumshoe, the first sneaker made from recycled gum.

According to IAmsterdam, around 3.3 million pounds of used gum ends up on the streets of the Netherlands every year. It costs a lot of money to scrape up all this gum and throw it away. Gumdrop’s Gum-Tec recycling process breaks down the synthetic rubber used in the gum base. The company then turns it into granules that can be moulded into new shapes. In this case, they are using rubber to create the soles of the Gumshoe sneakers. As an added bonus, the mould of the soles resemble a map of Amsterdam. The project uses around half a pound of gum to make each sneaker. The soles are as durable as rubber and smell slightly of gum, but are not sticky. In addition, the rest of the shoe is made of leather.

Gumshoe claims these are the world’s first sneakers made using gum. They are exploring ways to improve sustainability by allowing customers to recycle and replace the soles of their shoes when they wear out. Gumshoe joins other innovative products made from recycled waste. These include sneakers made from mushrooms and paper batteries. The shoes will be available in June, with prices starting from 49.95 EUR. Gumshoe are also looking to expand their project to other cities. Will Gumshoe be able to reduce the problem of used chewing gum on urban streets?




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