First step towards environmentally-friendly shoes

Jun 22, 2006

A Northumbria University student has designed an environmentally-friendly children’s shoe that adapts to a child’s differing needs in footwear.

The shoe uses fewer resources and components in its manufacture and, as such, lends itself more easily to recycling.

John Macdonald, who is in his final year of a Design for Industry course, used a black moulded flexible plastic as the basic structure. The shoe is then kept in a secure position by fitted, elastic straps.

John, originally of Bath but now living in Swindon Terrace in Heaton, said: “At the moment shoes are made out of as many as 40 different components and a variety of adhesives which means they can’t be recycled.

“My design uses minimal separate components, some of which can be made locally. The shoe is quick to assemble and easy to take apart again which increases the possibilities of recycling.’’

To further aid recycling, John devised an incentive scheme for customers where they would be offered a discount on their next pair of shoes whenever they brought an old pair back to the shop. The returned shoes would then be correctly disposed of and recycled in ways which would benefit the manufacturer.

John was also keen that the shoe should fit in with the different activities and lifestyles of children.

“The plain black shoe would be used by children when they are at school but the straps can be reversed or customised to add colour for when kids are playing sports or if they are going to a party,’’ he said.

“The construction of the shoe is lightweight and supportive, lending itself to active lifestyles which should be encouraged in children.’’

John has called his design the HOOP in reference to two loops at the top of the shoe which help stretch apart the shoe to allow the foot in. The shoe then snaps back and grips the foot. This was inspired by children from a youth group in Gateshead with whom John worked in researching his design.

John also worked with Clarks on the project and he has now been offered a work placement there to develop his design.

Source: Northumbria University

Explore further: James Watson's Nobel Prize to be auctioned

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Senators get no clear answers on air bag safety

3 minutes ago

There were apologies and long-winded explanations, but after nearly four hours of testimony about exploding Takata air bags, senators never got a clear answer to the question most people have: whether or ...

Nicaragua: Studies say canal impact to be minimal

18 minutes ago

Officials said Thursday that studies have determined a $40 billion inter-oceanic canal across Nicaragua will have minimal impact on the environment and society, and construction is to begin next month.

Former Brown dean whose group won Nobel Prize dies

43 minutes ago

David Greer, a doctor who co-founded a group that won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for working to prevent nuclear war and who helped transform the medical school at Brown University, has died. He was 89.

Recommended for you

James Watson's Nobel Prize to be auctioned

13 hours ago

Missed the chance to bid on Francis Crick's Nobel Prize when it was auctioned off last year for $2.27 million? No worries, you'll have another chance to own a piece of science history on Dec. 4, when James D. Watson's 1962 ...

Engineers develop gift guide for parents

Nov 21, 2014

Faculty and staff in Purdue University's College of Engineering have come up with a holiday gift guide that can help engage children in engineering concepts.

Former Brown dean whose group won Nobel Prize dies

Nov 20, 2014

David Greer, a doctor who co-founded a group that won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for working to prevent nuclear war and who helped transform the medical school at Brown University, has died. He was 89.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.