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Shoes That Rot Like Plants

As the population increases, shoe waste also increases, these remain in nature for a long time without disappearing and are difficult to recycle, making it one of the most dangerous products. One of the factors that make it difficult to recycle is the high variety of materials used in its construction and therefore the separation process is problematic. These striking facts have led giant sneaker manufacturers and independent designers to focus on this issue. You can check out the solutions in this area here. There were also those who approached the issue from the point of view of the use of completely organic materials. Laura Muth's shoes, for example, with an expiration date, were really interesting. Let's not forget This is grown, the shoe that Jen Keane created with bacteria, and Emilie Burfeind's compostable shoe Sneature, made from shed dog hair.

Now architect and artist Yussef Agbo-Ola and his Olaniyi Studio have a shoe collection called Kajola. These shoes, which are made entirely of biological materials, fade and rot like plants over time.

They are not functional at the moment, but wearable versions will be developed that will be available in 2023

Kajola; a capsule collection of nine experimental shoes made from natural materials such as clay, volcanic powder and cocoa powder. London-based Olaniyi Studio says it imagines the shoes as handmade limited-edition "living" works of art rather than functional objects. Although the collection is not functional at the moment, Olaniyi Studio aims to develop a wearable version that will be available in 2023.

The decay process of plants was investigated in order to control the formal change of shoes.

The sole of shoes; made with plant fibers mixed with clay, starch and other organic materials. The top of each shoe is shaped by hand and sewn together with natural fibers. The parts in this upper part; It contains natural additives such as herbs, sand, flowers and algae selected to control the deterioration rate of the shoe. In the process of construction, a Japanese shoe patching machine designed to repair leather products was used.

The team created these designs with the idea that the bark and leaves of the plants will shrink when they begin to rot. In fact, this process of shrinking and curling inspired them. They conducted research on the properties of plant skin, how this material and its decay process can be used as a system for shoes. The Kajola collection takes its name from a region of Nigeria. The forest where Agbo-Ola investigated the degradation process in organic matter is also located in this region.

The aim is to extend the potential of materials that can be made with plants far beyond what is known.

The designers are currently aiming to develop a series of prototypes in which plant-based artificial skins fused with recycled ocean plastics and recycled rubber are used as a formula for the 3D-printed base composition. For this, they form a team of engineers and materials scientists. The aim is to extend the potential of materials that can be made with plants far beyond what is known.

Agbo-Ola plants has a strong resume in terms of art and design. They recently collaborated with cocoa farmer Tabita Rezaire on a work – an installation researching medicinal plants – that is on display at the Serpentine Gallery in London as part of a climate-focused Back to Earth exhibition.