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Have you ever heard someone say they’ve run something into the ground — using it until it’s totally spent? A sneaker designer took that saying literally. A company has developed a shoe that can be planted and then grow a tree after it’s no longer useful as footwear.
Customers no longer have to toss another pair of broken-down shoes into a landfill. The designers of Johnny Footwear have created a totally recyclable sneaker that will grow into something beautiful! Embedded in the midsole of the shoe, tucked into a secret compartment, is an apple seed that will grow a few years after being planted into the ground.
Luc Houle, the founder of Johnny Footwear, named the shoe after the legendary character Johnny Appleseed. He said the idea for the new shoes came from concerns over plastic waste being thrown into landfills and potentially staying there for centuries.
“Most people don’t realize the shoes they wear are harmful to the planet. They contain plastic that floods our oceans and landfills and sticks around for up to 1,000 years. Our compound feels like traditional athletic shoes, but they biodegrade in three years rather than the typical 1,000,” Houle told Earth.com in a December 2021 interview. “This is a new product, a new company and a new way of bringing innovation to the world.”
The company launched a Kickstarter campaign last year which raised more than $73,000 Canadian ($57,500 American). Now, Johnny has its own website where customers can pre-order the environmentally-friendly sneakers. The website says deliveries should begin in August 2022. Customers can choose either the black or white pair of Johnnies for $135 before shipping.
But, since the shoes are biodegradable, customers may wonder if they’ll disintegrate on their feet.
No need to worry! The materials only start decomposing after constant exposure to the elements in an underground environment. A video shared on the Johnny website and YouTube explains the process.
And, for those people who can’t plant their shoes once they are finished with them, Johnny has got you covered. For every pair of shoes sold, Johnny commits to planting a tree on the customer’s behalf.
In addition to being good for the environment, Johnny’s shoe designers also kept comfort in mind. Johnny sneakers use a coating of natural beeswax on the natural cotton canvas, which acts as a “rainproof barrier that wicks away droplets without polluting the environment with harmful chemicals.” The shoes are lightweight, shock-resistant, anti-bacterial and made for running. They also have a collapsible heel, which allows you to you can slip in and out of them easily.
Good for your feet and the planet? It sounds like Johnny shoes might be an ideal option for the person who wants style with an environmental conscience!