Modular recyclable knitted shoes
There is a problem with the footwear industry as we know it.
24.2 billion pairs of shoes are manufactured globally each year and most of them end up in landfills or incinerators. One of the reasons is that most shoes are made with a lot of different materials that can't be separated, and because of that can't be recycled. My project suggests an alternative to this issue.The shoes I designed are made from 2 parts - a mono-material 3D printed flexible sole, and a knitted upper knitted entirely out of elastic yarn. The shoes attach to the sole by pulling the elastic cords to the hooks on the sole. The modularity of the shoe allows the options of washing the upper if needed, of replacing a worn out piece, of recycling the sole or the upper or playing around with different uppers or soles for different looks.
The upper attaches to the sole by pulling on the elastic cords to the hooks of the sole. It is knitted manually on a double bed domestic knitting machine using three ends of an elastic yarn, making it durable and flexible. The cords are knitted from the same elastic yarn which is also used for the linking of the different pattern pieces, making the module easy to recycle. Meanwhile, the mono-material sole is 3D printed entirely out of a TPU flexible filament. Made without any adhesives, the components are very easy to attach, wear, and take off.