The last one and a half week were dominated by the annual Dutch Design Week 2015. Although I was exceptionally busy last week and therefore haven’t really had the time to see a lot myself, I still had a chance to see a bit as I was accompanying the students of International Lifestyle Studies with their trendtours at Klokgebouw.

It was during one of their tours that I found my favorite design of the Klokgebouw 2015 exposition, namely RETHINKING HIGH FASHION SHOES by Kristel Peters. Kristel wants to approach shoe design from a totally new point of view, experimenting with new materials such as salmon skin, bacteria and mushroom leather.

If you ask women what their weak spot is, I am pretty sure more than 50% will answer shoes. They might say diamonds are a girls best friends, but we are not that demanding, a pair of shoes is good too. But in a world where recourses are getting more and more scare we should look for circular alternatives for shoe productions as well.

Every year, approximately 21 billion pair of shoes are produced worldwide where of 95% arrives after use on the landfill. This means a lot of waste, but that might not be the biggest issue. It is the fact that our current shoes are made with the use of a lot of different toxic components, which means that when they become waste, they have a huge impact on nature and therewith human beings.

The project RETHINKING HIGH FASHION SHOES puts the responsibility on the designer to explore the best options regarding a zero waste high fashion shoe collection that could fit our current circular attitude. That is exactly what Kristel did when she started from a “cradle to cradle” vision as main reference.

Kristel Peters is a shoe designer that have seen it all, with over 15 years experience in the industry she passed through all the in and outs of the art. Therefor she knows like no other that the industry has to change tremendously to fit current Zeitgeist and this worlds needs.

As she is rethinking high fashion shoes she is working on this project at KASK, (BE), exploring sustainable shoe-design. Therefor her main goal is to find new sustainable materials that have a low impact on our environment.

She even takes it one step further by trying to grow shoes out of fungus and therewith creates new materials from scratch, whereby the fundamental of the shoe is 3d printed. Her work is a combination of material experimenting and state-of-the-art technology.

It is prodigious how the fashion industry is slowly waking up regarding the bigger issues in nowadays world. They realize that they might have a very big share in the problems but therefor also a very big share in influencing new directions.

RETHINKING HIGH FASHION SHOES is developing a solution to a crisis and with that solution it answers to our circular economy in a more sustainable world. Lastly this project is reinventing the purpose of specific products and materials such as the waste products of the salmon industry making it a double circular economy.

One thing is for sure, as soon as those Salmon sweeties hit the market, I want a pair and I will feel good about the fact that they are environmental aware.
rethinking_high_fashion_shoes-1024x651ddw_ff2e858f98322f415b06733f416b940dd_1kristel_peters_cIMG_4592 IMG_4594Source: RETHINKING HIGH FASHION SHOES