The Microgreen Shoe

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Stella Harry Lee has prototyped this design, via

The Microgreen Shoe is a prototype designed by New York-based material designer, Stella Harry Lee. By contemplating how individuals can re-evaluate the function of the materials they surround themselves with, Lee created a sneaker which grows organic materials through the use of bacterial-grown synthetic material. Through everyday use and exposure to the elements, plants such as micro-greens and radish can be grown on the shoe’s uppers.

Although many fashion brands have reoriented their goals to become more “sustainable,” not many have tackled the main problem of creating the world’s largest form of waste: mass production. Slow to move away from creating less waste, brands solely focus on increasing their annual target revenue, leading to producing more “stuff.” There is still a clear lack of responsibility from fashion brands when truly fighting against climate change, because that often (and ultimately) means a financial loss in the business. By growing the material and the product itself, this project challenges the supply chain that brands continue to build to support their financial growth. This project also poses a hypothetical situation of a world with governments closing down factories due to the severity of global warming—where we are left alone to survive without factories making products for us, and the only alternative solution is to make the products ourselves.

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