Discover the Future of Footwear: Vivobarefoot’s 3D Printed, Customizable Sustainable Shoes


Did you know that annually, 25 billion pairs of shoes are made and almost one-fourth of these only withstand a year before ending up as waste? It’s crystal clear that the fashion business is a significant contributor to environmental pollution. Therefore, an increasing number of organizations are exploring innovative ways to reshape fashion such that it aligns with sustainability and durability. Consequently, our spotlight today is on Vivobarefoot, a company revolutionizing the industry with circular footwear, which recently declared its collaboration with Balena on its blog.

Vivobarefoot is a British shoe brand established in 2012, specializing in crafting barefoot shoes. “Only nature is truly sustainable,” are their inspiring words, and Vivobarefoot not just focuses on renewable materials but also commits to holistic sustainability. Sustainable resources aren’t a silver bullet suit for promoting a healthy existence; we need to increase our activity levels and return to our natural movement patterns. Walking barefoot and using compostable materials for shoe production are the main strategies of Vivobarefoot’s plan to reverting us all to a fundamental perspective on our footwear.

10,000 years ago, people either walked barefoot or made footwear from materials given by nature. The principle inspires Vivobarefoot.

Vivobarefoot and Balena Aim at ‘Degrowth’ Trend in Shoe Industry

Vivobarefoot’s mission to “bring people closer to nature again” has led to the desire to create regenerative shoes and products designed to complete the natural cycle. The company’s partnership with Balena, a material research company, focuses on the creation of compostable, recyclable, thermoplastic materials of organic origin. They’ve developed a durable, flexible and high-performing elastomer known as BioCir®flex, from which products that are biodegradable and decompose after being disposed of can be produced.

With the development of BioCir3D, Balena has offered a material with the same properties, particularly designed for use in 3D printing. This brings about the capability for customization and design according to any specific preferences. Furthermore, production can be customized and printed based on order demand, introducing the concept of on-demand manufacturing.

Vivobarefoot and Balena take advantage of 3D printing and advanced materials from Balena to initiate a project for sustainable production. From this collaboration, VivoBiome is created, a digital scan-to-print system that allows customers to custom-print sustainable shoes with a single click. The partners’ ultimate aim for these circular shoes is to initiate a “degrowth” movement.

Shoes in Just One Click

But how to acquire these shoes for yourself? To create them, first an individual design is made after the order is placed. This is done using specialized software, enabling the creation of distinct CAD models for the outsoles and to design the footwear in accordance with the end user’s foot or last shape. The shoes sport a minimalist look, equipped with thin, flexible soles and a broad cut. This design approach allows for unrestricted movement. Upon design completion, the shoes are printed utilizing biosynthetic and recycled materials.

The VivoBiome initiative underwent its testing phase in July of the previous year. Approximately 200 individuals from the UK were handpicked to test the VivoBiome shoes for varying strains and comfort. The project now moves onto its next phase. Balena and Vivobarefoot have revealed that they will utilize the upcoming six months for thorough testing and will introduce the shoes to customers within the following 18 months. By 2025, it should be feasible to order fully compostable, 3D-printed shoes at the click of a button and have them delivered within ten days. To learn more, visit HERE.

What are your thoughts on these 3D printed, compostable shoes from Balena and Vivobarefoot? Tell us in the comments below or on our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly newsletter here, for the latest 3D printing news directly in your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.

Original source


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