Sneakers from Vivobarefoot are made out of algae and help keep the ocean clean

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While some may not realize it, practically everything we wear, eat, or do produces carbon emissions. Even our shoes can make a big impact on the environment when multiplied for consumers. That is why many modern shoe companies are turning toward more Earth-friendly materials and production methods.

London-based Vivobarefoot announced a partnership with Mississippi-based Bloom to create the Bloom Foam — the first shoes made with algae. More precisely, the shoes use EVA foams made out of harvested algae biomass. It cleans the water and reduces the carbon footprint at the same time.

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The collaboration begins with Vivobarefoot’s Ultra shoes. These amphibious adventure shoes will be made entirely out of the Bloom algae-EVA foams that the company is known for. In a single pair of men’s 11.5-sized shoes, the Vivobarefoot x Bloom shoes return 57 gallons of clean water to habitat and reduce 40 balloons worth of carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere.

“This is a true revolution for the footwear industry with the first plant-based alternative to the petro-foams in ubiquitous use,” Galahad Clark, Vivobarefoot’s founder, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be the first company to use Bloom in our shoes and further our mission to make the perfect shoe … perfect for feet and minimal impact on the planet.”

Bloom first started creating their performance-based materials in 2015. They have created the world’s first plant-based, high-performance alternative to synthetic and petroleum-based flexible foams. The harvesting occurs at freshwater sources that are at high risk of algal bloom.

When phosphorous and nitrates, usually found in fertilizers, seep into the waterways, they create prime conditions for uncontrollable growth of algae. This harmful bloom releases toxins that affect both humans and animals while simultaneously depleting oxygen and sunlight in the water. This leads to mass deaths of marine wildlife including birds, fish, and mammals.

Since Bloom Foam removes the algae and replaces petroleum-based materials, it is a win-win situation for the environment. The Vivobarefoot x Bloom Ultra Shoe will be available in stores and online in July.


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