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balena's thermoplastic-infused biodegradable sandals decompose back to earth

compostable ‘BioCir Slides’ sandals by Balena

 

Balena plays the circular economy game. Rather than betting on companies who deem themselves as sustainable-products churners, it forges its own path by producing soft compostable sandals ‘BioCir Slides’ made from flexible biodegradable thermoplastic and mixed with the recycled waste of the fashion industry.

 

Balena relies on science and research and has developed its in-house system BioCir, driven by compostable and biodegradable thermoplastic materials including natural and easily scalable biodegradable polymers. When the compostable sandals reach their end life, they fully decompose and return to the ground, turning into crumbles that fertilize the earth.

balena biocir compostable sandals
images courtesy of Balena

 

 

The earth-toned sandals, whose first limited drop was sold out in 2022,  are colored and scented with natural cinnamon and are durable, flexible, and comfortable enough to be used every day. The open-hole design at the head of the sandals allows for airflow, and the hollowed cubes beneath the footwear weather rough and bumpy roads as the wearer roams around.

 

Designed and manufactured in Italy, the BioCir Slides recycle the landfill and textile waste of the fashion industry as the brand partly sources its materials from discarded, improperly recycled clothing and accessories. After use, the compostable sandals can be shipped to one of Balena’s industrial compost facilities that will fully decompose the footwear.

balena biocir compostable sandals
‘BioCir Slides’ are made from flexible biodegradable thermoplastic

 

 

Biodegradable polymers for circularity

 

While traveling around Nepal in 2016 with a tour program, Balena Founder and CEO David Roubach’s interest was piqued when in one of the talks he sat down for, the speakers went over the Western world’s contribution to waste and pollution. He sought to understand why it was difficult for different industries to hush down and lessen plastic pollution and the severe damage it contributes to the environment and the ocean.

 

Years into the research, the fashion industry being one of the major pollutants still sprung from his growing-waste inquiry. He realized that the already-existing Biodegradable polymers could spotlight the circularity that conventional plastic materials shrug off. In hopes of materializing compostable solutions within the fashion industry, he established Balena and has since then rowed forward in making fully compostable and biodegradable consumer goods products like BioCir Slides.

balena biocir compostable sandals
the compostable sandals are mixed with the recycled waste of the fashion industry

 

 

‘Consumers are becoming more aware of the plastic crises and demanding more transparency and durable solutions. Consumers value high quality, durable products but have a lack of information which prevents them from making the best choices,’ says Roubach.

 

Talking about his future vision, he adds that ‘we are working towards becoming a leading material science company in bio-material solutions. We have started with the development of sustainable solutions to TPU, and in the future aim to have a biodegradable and biobased solution to many  conventional and polluting plastic in the industry.’

balena biocir compostable sandals
biocir compostable sandals fully decompose

balena-sandals-compostable-biodegradable-biocir-slides-designboom-1800

Balena’s compostable ‘BioCir Slides’ sandals

balena biocir compostable sandals
top view

balena biocir compostable sandals
outsole view

 

 

project info:

 

name: BioCir Slides

brand: Balena

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