Public School’s Lab-Brewed Bio-Leather Sneakers

Through Slow Factory’s One x One science incubator program, Public School NY teamed up with Dr Theanne Schiros (of Columbia University and FIT) to make sneakers designed from leather grown in a natural fermentation process. The method (similar to how kombucha is made)  results in a material that can be formed to any mold, without excess—drastically reducing the waste produced. “The idea of a bacterially spun nano-fiber for textile applications was wildly exciting as a regenerative material with a closed-loop life cycle,” Dr Schiros explains to MOLD. Plus, variations in color and texture can be achieved through experimentation—such as the addition of onion skins for a yellow tone or the addition of bubbling beeswax for a rigid exterior—and the leather is 100% biodegradable. Learn about the fascinating process at MOLD.

Image by Jon Brown courtesy of One x One