Sneakers Made from Mushrooms and Dog Hair… Are You Into It?

sustainable sneaker

Hi. There is now a sock sneaker with a mushroom mycelium sole and a knitted upper made from canine hair. Don’t worry, we’ll explain.

The “Sneature” trainer consists of only three materials, all bio-based and renewable, which allows it to be taken apart, recycled and/or industrially composted. 

Usually, your traditional sneaker is made from eight to 12 different components. Things like nylon and ethylene-vinyl acetate foam are commonly found in trainer materials – many of which are petroleum-based and would survive in landfills for up to 1,000 years. In other words, not sustainable. 

But how do we feel about wearing dog hair on our feet?

Short answer: we’re torn. 

The canine hair was crowdsourced from dog owners, by a Berlin start-up Modus Intaria, and was shed while grooming and therefore, would have otherwise been thrown out. This means it’s super sustainable and cruelty-free.

The hair is spun into a high-quality yarn known as Chiengora, which is 42% better at retaining heat than sheep’s wool and was historically used by Indigenous societies on America’s West Coast.

Although sustainable, The thought of wearing dog fur feels funny, in comparison to sheep’s wool. We’re accustomed to wearing sheep’s wool, just as much as we are having dogs as pets. The knowledge that the sheep have to be sheared and that their wool has been used to make clothing for centuries makes it feel like a full-circle and we don’t question it. With this new Sneature design, the dog hair uses that same theory, we just aren’t used to it.

And then there’s the mushroom element. 

Mycelium; the filament structure that fungi use to grow, is combined with a cellulose substrate made of hemp and other agricultural waste products and grown in a mould to create the outer and inner sole of the Sneature.

A lot of bigger brands have tried to mitigate the environmental impact of their trainers and designs in recent years, such as Adidas with their endlessly recyclable shoe made from ocean plastic. 

For the full break-down of the Sneature in all its sustainable canine glory, head to its very own website

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