Nobody likes walking on the pavement during a hot summer day to discover they’ve just come across—and stepped upon—somebody’s soft discarded bubble gum. Aside from the embarrassment, scrapping the discarded sugar-chew is no easy task. But what if said bubble or chewing gum could be scraped from the streets and converted into an actual shoe?
Such is the premise behind the world’s first shoe made from chewing gum—the aptly named Gumshoe.
Designed in collaboration with Publicis One, Explicit Wear and Gum-Tec®, the shoe aims to be a “non-preachy” messaging tool to remind Amsterdam folks about the 1.5 million kilos of gum that end up on their streets and sidewalks every year—second only to cigarette butts.
But as impressive as the shoe itself (which also smells like bubble gum — brilliant millennial marketing), is how they even go about converting chewing gum waste into a material durable enough to be used as an outsole. According to the Gum-Tec website, “(we) recycle all types of chewing gum waste from chewed gum coming from the Gumdrop bins and the Gumdrop On-the-go, as well as working together with manufacturers to provide a zero waste to landfill alternative for gum manufacturers wishing to lower or eliminate their waste gum output. This is then recycled and put through our new process in order to create a range of compounds for use in the plastics and rubber industry.”
Unfortunately, that’s all the info they’ve got. But this isn’t the first time wasted material has been upcycled into (somewhat wearable) footwear. Adidas has been actively working with ocean preservation organization Parley for years now to convert ocean waste into a usable thread used in footwear uppers.
Find out more over at Gumshoe Amsterdam.