In Germany, sustainability-focused designer Emilie Burfeind has used renewable and waste materials—including dog hair—to create an eccentric sneaker that she hopes will appeal to sneakerheads concerned with the wasteful practices of sneaker culture and fast fashion.
Dubbed Sneature, the shoe membrane is made using 3D knitting of dog hair, creating “flexibility, stiffness, and air circulation with a very second-skin feel,” according to Yanko Design. Biobased rubber and plastic is used to fuse a mushroom mycelium sole to the membrane.
“The sneaker was segmented into functional and structural areas (membrane, transition, sole) in order to implement the tested materials in a suitable way, taking into account the functional properties of the different areas. Because of the possible integration into an industrial production process, the membrane—the integrative core of the shoe—was created using a 3D-knitting technique. In order to approach the problem and conceptualize a solution, a fundamental factor for the ecological properties of every product—the material was examined. The design is based on a series of material experiments with natural raw fibers,” says Burfeind.