Instead of having bubblegum stick to the underside of your shoe, one day the sole of your shoe could be made of the very same piece of bubblegum. Gum-Tec, a recycled compound developed by sustainability company Gumdrop, will be at the heart and ‘sole’ of their new shoe, the Gumshoe… and Gum-Tec is, by composition, 20% recycled chewing gum.
Chewing gum poses an incredibly serious ecological problem because it comes made from synthetic plastics that do not biodegrade. It’s also the second most common form of roadside litter, after cigarette butts. Gumdrop plans to collect discarded gum from the streets of Amsterdam, a city where an incredible 3.3 million pounds of gum are incorrectly disposed on the sidewalks each year, clean them, and convert them into Gum-Tec, the material that forms the base of the shoe. A little over a pound of chewing gum can be used in two pairs of sneakers. “We discovered gum is made from a synthetic rubber. And by breaking down these properties, we were able to create a new type of rubber,” said Anna Bullus, managing director and designer at Gumdrop.
The sneakers are designed by Explicit Wear and Gumdrop and marketed by Iamsterdam. Available in red and pink (possibly the only fitting colors for a shoe of this nature), the shoes come with the proprietary Gum-Tec sole (featuring Amsterdam’s signature XXX logo) and a leather upper body. Just as good as any sneaker with a rubber sole, the Gumshoes help get chewing gum off our streets and give it a grave-to-cradle re-think that helps keep the dangerously non-biodegradable substance out of our eco-system. Oh, and they faintly smell of bubblegum too!