As a substitute of throwing out used child footwear, a Portland, Ore., startup need you to boil them.
Woolybubs founders Jesse and Megan Milliken felt responsible about how often they threw away outgrown garments for his or her three youngsters, figuring out that the garments would find yourself in landfill.
They addressed the difficulty by creating biodegradable child footwear that dissolve in boiling water.
Jesse beforehand spent 15 years at Nike in product creation and innovation, working intently with design and manufacturing. Megan labored as a program supervisor at CLEAResult, creating methods for shoppers in power effectivity industries. Combining their backgrounds in footwear and sustainability, the husband-wife staff based Woolybubs in January 2020.
Time lapse of Woolybubs shoe dissolving in boiling water (Woolybubs Video).
The footwear are constructed from a water-soluble plastic referred to as Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), which makes use of much less power and water than different textiles throughout manufacturing, in line with Woolybubs. The corporate sought the best customary for testing, the Oeko-Tex 100, to certify that the dissolved answer is non-toxic and will be safely poured down the drain.
The founders have been impressed by comparable dissolving applied sciences in dish water and laundry detergent pods.
“We checked out one thing that existed on the planet and solved a barely totally different drawback, and noticed a chance,” Jesse stated.
The corporate says greater than 300 million pairs of footwear are thrown away annually.
In 2018, the EPA reported that textiles accounted for five.8% of whole municipal stable waste technology. Textile waste additionally has an financial affect — disposing textiles sometimes prices $45 per ton, in line with a report from Inexperienced America.
Woolybubs at the moment provides three merchandise — the Beginner, Toddle, and Woolybub. Whereas solely the Beginner can dissolve, the Toddle and Woolybub are stitched with yarn constructed from discarded plastic. All footwear will be despatched again to the corporate to be recycled once more. Costs vary from $38 to $48.
Sooner or later, Woolybubs plans to develop right into a youngsters footwear firm, somewhat than simply infants or toddlers. The corporate has two workers and is self-funded.