Prototype shoe features chicken feathers and mushrooms


In Delaware, two students have designed a biodegradable shoe made from mushrooms, chicken feathers, and textile waste.

The two University of Delaware students presented the prototype—which features a mycelium-based sole as well as vegan leather and cotton fabric—at the National Sustainable Design Expo.

“The fashion industry produces a lot of waste, so sustainability is an issue everyone is trying to address,” says Jillian Silverman. “It’s hard to believe that people are going to change their consumption habits, but with this shoe, when someone gets tired of it or it wears out, it can go into the compost pile and not the landfill.“ The shoe also uses vegetable dyes.

Both Silverman and Wing Tang are students in UD’s Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies.