Dutch fashion and shoe label Explicit Wear is hoping to solve one of life’s sticky situations — the annoyance of stepping in discarded chewing gum on the pavement — while helping to keep Amsterdam’s city streets clean. The brand has partnered with local marketing organization Iamsterdam and sustainability firm Gumdrop to create a limited-edition sneaker for adults made from recycled gum that’s been scraped from the city’s pavements.
The discarded gum is being put to good use to make stylish kicks that also raise awareness for the anti-littering cause. Priced at around $332, the shoes will debut sometime in June.
According to the project, more than 3 million pounds of gum wind up on Amsterdam’s streets and sidewalks each year, costing the city millions of dollars to clean up.
Available for preorder now, the Gumshoe sneakers — offered in both a bubblegum pink and a black/red colorway — feature durable rubber outsoles fashioned from recyclable compounds (called Gum-Tec) produced by Gumdrop, 20 percent of which are made from gum.
Every four pairs of shoes requiere nearly 2.2 pounds of gum. A map of Amsterdam is molded into the bottom of the soles to subtly remind people of the littering problem. Even better, the sneakers actually smell like bubblegum — without the annoying stickiness.
To help spread their sustainability message, Gumshoe’s creators are hoping to expand the project to other major cities around the world. Click here to learn more.