French sneaker brand crowdfunds 100% biobased shoe


In France, lifestyle sneaker brand Umòja Shoes has unveiled a 100% biobased and biodegradable sneaker.  

Dubbed MMEA—Swahili for plant—the shoe uses many materials and methods already employed by artisans in Africa. The upper part of the shoe is made from organic cotton woven by Burkina Faso artisans, while the outer sole is made from rubber tree milk. The midsole is hemp, dyes are made from plants, natural latex is used for glue, and stitching threads and laces are made from linen. 

Cofounders Lancine Koulibaly and Dieuveil Ngoubou spend two years developing the shoe and have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Ulule. The sneakers are available on pre-order for €129 (US$156) with a limited production run of 200.