By Daniel Garcia Casillas on March 27, 2023 at 11:25 am
Fashion is one of the most polluted industries on the planet. For this reason, companies are increasingly involved in ecological clothing, as happened to Balena, which recently presented biodegradable footwear.
The Israeli materials science company has developed the eco-chic BioCir Slides, footwear made from its patented 100% biodegradable plastic, which is working to help the industry end unsustainable amounts of waste and encourage the use of biodegradable materials in shoes and other clothing.
Demonstrating the exciting potential of this unique technology, Balena has launched its fully compostable footwear for men and women, made in Italy and entirely with BioCir, dropping the first thousand pairs in Tel Aviv, the company’s home country.
As part of the debut, Balena has also introduced a fully circular system called Biocycling, which facilitates the disposal and biodegradation of your footwear in an industrial environment.
When customers have finished wearing their shoes – instead of throwing them on the way to landfill – they can return them to designated points around the city, where they are collected to complete biodegradation at a local industrial composting facility.
This model, which aimed to reduce the contribution of molds to plastic waste, can be reproduced worldwide according to the inventors.
“Thermoplastic is a fully composite thermoplastic material and a common model of the state-of-the-art thermoplastic round to solve the problem of ‘end of life’ for products and brands,” said David Roubach, founder and CEO of Balena.
Metra spoke with Roubach to find out more.
global carbon emissions caused by industrial production, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
tons of textile waste are generated every year and only 12% of the material is recycled for clothing.
– The first fully moldable and biodegradable elastomer offers a viable alternative to the polluting plastics currently used in clothing and footwear brands.
-You are 100% compostable.
– It is durable, flexible, soft and light, which makes it a perfect alternative to the corrupt materials used in shoes.
– Allows brands to develop footwear that looks and feels the same as their current products.
– This biodegradable material can be treated like any other material and used in common injection molding processes, as well as 3D printing.
– They can be easily integrated into common manufacturing processes and replicated globally, lowering the significant barrier to entry for manufacturers.
Founder and CEO of Balena
Q: What is the story of the whale?
– The global trend of fasting has generated a huge increase in the amount of clothing and footwear waste every year. Of the ten billion pounds of clothing thrown away each year, only 1% is recycled. In the United States alone, more than 300 million shoes are thrown away each year, 95% of which end up in landfills. Currently, there is no end of life circular solution to close the loop and dispose of these products safely and sustainably. But as waste pollutes our oceans and overflows our lands without decay, we need to change the way we — both manufacturers and consumers — relate to products and their “end-of-life solutions.” We founded Whale 2020 with a mission to create a sustainable future and reduce global plastic pollution.
Q: What are your shoes from?
– Our proof of concept sandals are made from BioCir cinnamon colored and naturally scented. This fully biodegradable material can be treated like any other plastic material, with the endless manufacturing possibilities that this offers. Easily integrated into common manufacturing processes and replicated globally, removing a significant barrier to known manufacturers.
Q: How do they distort?
– Products made with BioCir at the end of their useful lives with awareness through Biocycling, a biological recycling mechanism that ensures complete decomposition and biodegradation of materials in an industrial environment. We believe that this process is a more sustainable solution to the plastic waste crisis, compared to recycling, which is a more suitable method for other industries, such as paper and aluminum.
Q: To what extent does this help to preserve the environment?
– The responsibility of finding responsible ways to manage consumer situations should no longer rest with the consumer alone. More brands should create their products with materials that are fully biodegradable and promote their sustainable disposal as a circular process necessary for a greener future. Balena is partnered with like-minded brands who want to make a change and educate the public on the benefits of Biocycling and the circular economy. Our BioCir material and Biocycling process work hand in hand to make it easy to move.