Nature and Biodiversity

These sneakers are made out of recycled gum

Chewing gums cover a segment of the former Berlin Wall at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin March 4, 2013. Protesters tried to stop demolition of one of the last remaining stretches of the Berlin Wall on March 1, 2013, decades after jubilant Berliners tore down sections of the hated symbol of the Cold War. Most of the wall was pulled down or chiselled away after it was breached on November 9, 1989, when ecstatic crowds of East and West Germans surged through checkpoints and on to the wall, hacking bits off it and dancing on top of the structure that for so long had symbolised their division.   REUTERS/Thomas Peter  (GERMANY  - Tags: POLITICS)

The Gum-Tec compound is made from 20% recycled chewing gum. Image: REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Don Reisinger
Journalist, Fortune
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Future of Consumption

Sneakers and gum have always had a strained relationship. But that could change soon.

Three companies have come together to create sneakers that use recycled chewing gum in hopes of giving you the comfort only gum can deliver. The sneakers, called Gumshoe, use a recycled compound made by sustainability company Gumdrop. That compound, called Gum-Tec, is 20% chewing gum. Designer Explicit Wear and marketing firm Iamsterdam are also involved in the development of the Gumshoe sneakers, according to The Verge, which interviewed the companies involved.

In order to collect the gum, Gumdrop travels around the streets of Amsterdam and scrapes up discarded gum, the company told The Verge. Every 2.2 pounds of gum can be integrated into the soles of four pairs of sneakers, according to Gumdrop. And since a whopping 3.3 million pounds of game is dropped onto Amsterdam’s streets each year, there’s plenty to go around.

But there’s more to the gum soles than meets the eye.

2.2 pounds of gum can be made into four pairs of sneakers. Image: Gumshoe

The pink Gumshoe sole not only looks like your favorite chewing gum, it even smells like it. So if you catch the subtle hint of spearmint as you walk, it’s not your breath — it’s your sneakers. And no, it won’t be stickier than standard rubber soles.

So, if you’re interested in reclaiming the gum you spit on the sidewalk, the Gumshoe speakers might be a good bet. They’ll be available starting in June for 190 euros ($232).

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