We all know we don’t need all the sneakers we have. While fun, it is unquestionably a frivolous habit, and National Geographic has released a video on how our collections are contributing to the world’s plastic problem.
The average American bought seven pairs of shoes in 2018, but its sneakers that are particularly problematic. The key areas where plastic is used are in the outsole, midsole, heel counter, and synthetic leather. Because sneakers are so difficult to recycle, that gives them short lifecycles.
Nat Geo’s video isn’t all gloom, though; it looks forward at the future of sustainable footwear. The World Footwear 2030 report predicts the rise of sustainability in footwear, and we’re already seeing innovation in the forms of biofabrication and 3D printing. The video highlights adidas’ Futurecraft.Loop as a great example of the latter.
Watch the video above for a great look at the question if sneakers can become sustainable.