The statistics show than in the year 2017 the Swiss retailers made a turnover of 8,78 billion Swiss Francs on clothes and shoes only (statista.com 2018). This is a huge amount consumed in one year. The main question is the disposal of waste, “What should the consumer do with all the clothes and shoes or where should they be disposed?”
Adidas, one of the biggest sporting goods manufacturers made an innovation to finish the product life cycle of a shoe as environmentally friendly as possible. The shoe is a collaboration with AMSilk a German producer and distributor of silk biopolymers (amsilk.com 2018). The main feature of this creation is that the shoe is 100 percent biodegradable and happens in a complete natural process. An additional positive aspect of the FutureCraft Biosteel shoe is the weight. The silk fiber is 15 percent lighter than similar synthetic fibers and allows a comfortable wear (adidas-group.com 2018).
But what is this super innovation called silk biopolymers? The material characteristics of the spider silk protein fiber is superior to other natural and synthetic fibers. The chemical process of silk production from the gene transcription to the protein processing and finally to a fiber is very complex (Heim et al. 2009).
For better understanding of the process please have a look a the following video of how biological steel is made from spider silk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlH1E9h3_UQ (Youtube.com 2018)
From the nature we learn and for the nature we fight. The research and development in new resources and biodegradable products is more relevant than ever. As known, the recourses on earth are limited and pollution is a big concern to the most governments, companies and also to the human being there is no better time than to act against those problems. The reason for the pollution of the seas are materials that are disposed the wrong way and take too long to get naturally extracted. Therefore, the time could not be more appropriate to develop solution to problems like those. With the silk biopolymers developed by AMSilk we counteract the nonbiodegradable waste.
Somebody should take responsibility for a start in making the world a better place to live. For a meaningful company like Adidas is important to raise awareness and lead the people to a more suitable behavior. So why not to start with a product that gets consumed by everyone. In a consumer society like the one we can find in Switzerland it seems reasonable to start changing our behavior by selecting the right shoe. By doing this we don’t have to thing about subsequent steps. This means you eliminate the problematic of righteous disposal the moment you decide to consume.
Statistic clothes and shoes turnover Switzerland 2017: https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/523750/umfrage/umsatz-mit-bekleidung-und-schuhen-in-der-schweiz/ (04.11.2018)
Picture Adidas FutureCraft Biosteel shoe: https://www.sneakerfiles.com/adidas-futurecraft-biosteel/ (04.11.2018)
Information Adidas FutureCraft Biosteel shoe: https://www.amsilk.com/industries/biosteel-fibers/ (04.11.2018)
Process of making the silk fiber: Heim, Markus, David Keerl, and Thomas Scheibel. “Spinnenseide: vom löslichen Protein zur außergewöhnlichen Faser.” Angewandte Chemie 121.20 (2009): 3638-3650.
Video – Biological steel is made from spider silk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlH1E9h3_UQ (04.11.2018)