As a college student, I did my laundry more than most of my friends (and didn’t take it home to Mom at the end of the semester, either). “Clean” water seems to be decreasing in supply – although there’s an abundance of the salty variety covering the planet. We’ve come up with a bunch of de-salination methods that have been in the news. This ‘fresh’ water is being used in many applications – farming, animal husbandry, drinking water for humans…
But what if we just decreased CONSUMPTION of the water that IS available? Or in any case, used the supply more efficiently? Here’s a look at technology that aims to minimize the amount of water being used for the laundering of fabrics. Although it’s not strictly new tech, having been around for several years, it is being used with greater frequency in industrial applications and may be available for household consumers in the near future.
A 5,500-year-old leather shoe was discovered in a cave in Armenia in 2010. It makes you think long and hard about just how many shoes you really need to keep up with fashion and the burden they leave behind when the next must-have shoe design comes into fashion!
Downcycling is a new term I just read about. It’s different than recycling in that the process takes a used product, deconstructs all of its different parts, and then utilizes the individual deconstructed parts in a new way. This process claims to reduce the necessity of using fresh raw materials, which, in turn, reduces energy usage to manufacture those fresh raw materials, thereby reducing air pollution and water pollution.
The footwear industry is jumping on this new process. One company in particular, the LYF (Love your Footprint) shoe can be taken apart and remade without losing quality. You can’t help but love that name, right?
Inspired by Japanese Shinto temples that can be taken apart and moved, the LYF shoe is made of pieces that slot together a bit like Lego, without the need for glue. Not only are the these shoes made responsibly, they are custom made for each customer and made to fit your feet – you choose from a variety of sustainable & artisan textiles!
“To be truly sustainable you have to design for disassembly. If you put glue into the mix you cause problems in the reuse,” the designer, Aly Khalifa, says.
Check out some additional styles here.
For all of you engineers out there, does this inspire you to find a product that can be disassembled and remade into something else useful for its second life?
Other news in the footwear industry:
Nike developed an open source app to help designers assess their environmental impact and has been running a reuse–a-shoe scheme since the 1990s, grinding old trainers into pellets that are used to surface running tracks.
Gucci sold a collection of shoes made from bio-plastic – a biodegradable material used as an alternative to petrochemical plastic.
Music is an integral part of many lives, in many formats, in many locations. Music during a workout to increase your fitness level can be motivating and keep you from swooning with exhaustion.
Now there’s tech for your EARS that monitors your vitals which you catch your tunes! A new twist on the mobile/wearable items that are out there. Maybe you’ll be inspired to create some wearable tech, too?
Hearables might be the next big thing, according to Scott Snyder, a senior fellow with the University of Pennsylvania’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management and president and co-founder of the mobile strategy company Mobiquity. “Research suggests that 55 percent of Americans plan to use a wearable device in the coming year,” Snyder says. “Most of the attention to-date has been on the wrist, with a barrage of new devices from wrist-worn trackers to sensorized smartwatches, but hearables are makings strides and leveraging a mainstream consumer accessory – the earbud.”