'National Geographic' Explores How Sneakers Are Part of the Plastic Problem

And how sustainability will drive innovation in the footwear industry.

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Footwear
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As the fashion and footwear industries continue to push for sustainability, National Geographic has released an informative video spotlighting just how sneakers are contributing to the world’s plastic problem.

For many, shoes not only help us to elevate our head-to-toe ensembles, they help us in expressing our personality and who we are. Unfortunately the problem is shoes are not recyclable, and most are made with plastic and stitched and glued together to make them more comfortable, stronger, and lighter. According to National Geographic, worldwide more than 24 billion pairs of shoes were made in 2018, with over two billion pairs sold in the U.S. alone. This averages out to each American purchasing seven pairs of shoes, with most of them ending up in the trash.

In the third episode of The Story of Plastic, National Geographic takes a closer look at the anatomy of today’s sneakers and the history behind them. The clip also features visionary sneaker legend and Pensole Footwear Design Academy founder D’Wayne Edwards and footwear forcaster Nicoline van Enter. Additionally the video touches upon how sustainability will drive innovation in the footwear industry, such as 3D-printing and biofabrication, and highlights adidas’ Futurecraft.Loop as a great example of the former.

Head over to National Geographic for the full story.

For more footwear news, Nike and Kyrie Irving officially reveal the Kyrie 6.

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