While it’s nice to own multiple styles of shoes, each one of the things has a big rubber sole that will ultimately end up in the landfill. On top of that, each pair’s production adds to the footwear industry’s environmental footprint, which is equivalent to the amount of carbon emitted by 80 million cars.
Enter ACBC, an Italian startup that is on its way to revolutionizing the footwear industry with its Made2Share shoes, which incorporate a single set of soles that accommodate various zip-on uppers.
Each Made2Share setup consists of one pair of rubber soles, along with multiple sets of fabric uppers known as “skins.” Because the two components simply zip together, wearers can quickly swap one style of skin for another, whenever the mood hits them.
Depending on the model, the skins are made either entirely out of a beechwood-derived material known as Tencel, or a combination of Tencel and a leather-like material called Piñatex, which is derived largely from pineapple-leaf agricultural waste. Both materials are claimed to be strong and breathable.
The soles are made of a mixture of bamboo-derived rubber, algae-based foam, cork (for the insoles), and a material called BioVeg – it consists of corn industry waste and recycled bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic. Once those soles wear out, users ship them back to ACBC, where they’re ground up and used in shock-absorbing flooring sheets.
The shoes are currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign and, should they reach production, customers will be able to get their hands on a package of one pair of soles and three sets of skins for a pledge of US$199.