London firm pioneers boat shoes from invasive algae

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In London, an ecofriendly footwear firm is set to launch the “ultimate amphibious adventure shoes” made from invasive algae.

Vivobarefoot and Bloom, a producer of ethylene vinyl acetate foams from renewable sources, expect the amphibious Ultra III sneaker to be available for sale in July.

“This is a true revolution for the footwear industry with the first plant-based alternative to the petro-foams in ubiquitous use,” says Galahad Clark, founder of Vivobarefoot.

According to the company, one pair of men’s size nine sneakers reduces water use by 57 gallons and prevents 40 balloons worth of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. Harmful algal blooms damage ecosystems by releasing toxins, depleting oxygen in the water, and blocking sunlight. Bloom’s renewable foams have also been used in surfing traction pads.