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Biodegradables

Self-destructing sneaks ?

I've heard of self-destructing snaps but self-destructing sneaks?

It's true, they're a thing - Adidas, having previously committed to repurposing ocean waste plastics and converting it into sportswear has decided to go a step further and allow you to drown out your sneaks once you fancy an upgrade. 

A new wave of more sustainable approaches to the industry is in full stride and while the focus has been firmly embroidered on the application of 3D production for the industry (and thus labour market) there is a big question mark over the responsibility fast fashion merchants must exhibit for our environment.

If recycling was the boom word throughout the 90's and 00's - then biodegradable is very much the recent fad. However, it does call into question whether this is a viable alternative, raw materials can at least be repurposed when recycling whereas once your sneaks vanish from existence in the sink there is further demand for the materials and the energy input to create new variations.

"How much did you say?"

The big question comes down to cost and demand - Adidas are releasing a planned 1 million UltraBoosts (its most successful line and the pair I personally swear by) into the market in 2017 through a partnership with Parley Ocean Plastic. Each pair contain two plastic bottles and argue that recycled plastic makes up 95% of the shoe composite - yet the $200 price tag is likely to leave many feeling as though they've swallowed the surrounding sea water that they originate from.

Both Nike and Adidas have been pioneers in this field given their colossal market share and undoubted ability to continue innovating in a domain where small marginal gains can make all the difference at elite level. If the mass market chains are to seriously considering adopting this strategy to combat the ever growing land fill tragedy of recent consumer times then the process must become de facto, cost efficient and appeal to consumers as a given.

And RFID and Blockchain?

If RFID can showcase the history behind a product, its origins and provide a canvass for brands to acclaim their benefactors for consumers then Blockchain (what many cryptocurrencies use as a foundation) can protect and support it. 

Amazon are the latest to showcase what's possible with RFID in their Seattle concept store, Amazon Go (no more queues) and the application of the technology has far reaching possibilities throughout origins, logistics, transportation, warehousing, as well as advantages for consumers. Avery Dennison the latest to experiment in making lives easier for the global brands that use its labels.

These technologies demand more of brands and retailers, consumers are expecting greater transparency in where the products originate from, who's producing them and what are the standards throughout production. That's before unbundling the world of counterfeits and copyrights law - the primary source of inspiration to utilise these technologies, protecting intellectual property and trade secrets. That's not a bad thing for consumers.

Where do we begin?

Getting started in this field is daunting with so many pitfalls and unknowns - even sourcing brands that lament their transparent production routes can be cause for alarm given recent accusations against Everlane.
 

If your team would like to see where you can begin the journey towards a more reliably sourced product line and how you can immerse consumers in this world, jamie@aulter.com is where you can find me to determine what's applicable for your brand message.

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