Everybody chews gum. It passes the time and can leave a fresh taste in your mouth. However, as the whole world does it, it leaves a lot of gum on the streets when people spit it out. In order to reduce the waste, city marketing organization Iamsterdam, designer Explicit Wear, and sustainability company Gumdrop have collaborated to design a shoe from the recycled gum.
The shoes are called Gumshoes and the sole is made up of recyclable compounds called Gum-Tec produce by Gumdrop, and these compounds are made up of 20% gum. “We discovered gum is made from a synthetic rubber. And by breaking down these properties, we were able to create a new type of rubber,” says Anna Bullus, managing director and designer at Gumdrop.
According to the project, roughly 3.3 million pounds of gum make it onto Amsterdam pavements each year, and that costs the city millions of dollars to clean up. The project uses around 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of gum for every four pairs of Gumshoes.
The gum recycled into shoes was scraped from the streets in Amsterdam. The Gum-Tec compounds are initially formed as granules and are then moulded into the sold of the shoe, which also has a map of the city. “We started looking for a way to make people aware of this problem […] That’s when the idea began to create a product people actually want from something no one cares about,” a spokesperson for the collaboration, Jonathan Van Loon, said in an email to The Verge.
According to Van Loon, these compounds are just like rubber and even smell like gum but don’t have the stickiness of gum. The project claims that these are the world’s first pair of sneakers made from gum. Only the sole incorporates gum, the rest of the shoe is made up of leather.
The collaborators are trying to look for a way that would allow users to recycle and replace the sole after they have worn out. They wish for the project to expand to other major cities and want to introduce an easier and more sustainable way for people to get rid of their chewing gum.
The shoes are available in bubblegum pink or black and red. They’ll be available in June for about $232. Would you be interested in owning a pair of Gumshoes? Let us know in the comments. You can watch the shoes in the video below: