In Tel Aviv, material science company Balena hopes to shortly launch 60% biobased, 100% compostable, and cinnamon-scented slide-style sandals.
Made from a proprietary natural elastomer dubbed BioCir, Balena’s slides are made using molds. The cinnamon scent comes from tea waste sourced from Israel.
Founder David Roubach tells ISRAEL21c that the slides decompose in industrial composers. The process takes longer in backyard composters, but still well under the centuries it takes conventional plastic slides to break down, he adds.
A thousand pairs have already been distributed in the Tel Aviv area. The company has set up collection points throughout the city.
Roubach hopes to see BioCir used in numerous products in fashion, but is starting with slides. “If we want to implement a new material, we have to find the right go-to-market application for that material,” Roubach says. “We started with footwear because it is something magical in terms of consumer engagement. It’s a complicated task that we are still developing.”