designer shahar asor knits children’s shoes with an expiration date using biodegradable thread that can disassemble at a pre-defined timeframe. titled ‘best before’, the material research project applies the concept of an expiration date to the fashion industry as a way of bridging the contradiction between the long ‘shelf life’ of a garment, and people’s undeniable need to often change their wardrobe. fully-fashioned on a double bed knitting machine, the shoes consist of one knitted piece with different textures, which includes the soft upper part and the strong, flexible before 1all images by noi einav



‘what if we could buy clothes the same way we buy milk? according to our objective needs and taking into account the expiration date of the product?,’ asks shahar asor, who developed ‘best before’ as her final project at the industrial department of the bezalel academy in jerusalem. the children’s shoes are conceptually designed to disassemble in the washing machine within a pre-defined time frame, taking into account consumption habits and children’s growth curves. after the shoe dissolves, its materials can safely biodegrade, leaving no harmful effect on the before 2the shoe is knitted in one piece that includes the upper part and the sole



asor collaborated with professor oded shoseyov from the faculty of agriculture, food and environment at the hebrew university in order to explore the potential uses and design applications of biodegradable textiles. by using knitting technology, the designer was able to create a biodegradable composite material that could disassemble at a pre-defined timeframe. through further research, she found that the material produces different textures under specific conditions, and in this way she was able to knit a soft textile and strong flexible surface all in the same before 3



each shoe is made from one knitted piece that includes the upper part and the sole. as its expiration date approaches, the logo of the project appears on the left shoe, notifying the user that the pair will disassemble in the washing machine during its next wash. after it dissolves, the materials can safely biodegrade, leaving no harmful effect on the environment.

best before 4



‘fashion has the power to promote us, be our voice and distinct us from others, but sometimes we buy clothes simply because we objectively need to, as in the case of maternity or children’s clothes,’ adds asor. ‘some of us donate and others recycle but the truth is most of our unclaimed garments find themselves in landfills. so, if a garment is being used for a limited period of time why does it stay on earth for so long? why not design it with its end of use moment in mind?’ best before 5best before 6best before 7production and design process on a double bed knitting machine



project info:


name: best before

designer: shahar asor


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: sofia lekka angelopoulou | designboom