Biodegradable Sneakers That Become Apple Trees

Fabulous environmentally virtuous new shoe brand - Johnnys - has just achieved its Kickstarter funding target and is now set to start production.

Johnnys are simple canvas everyday shoes made without plastic, utilizing Fair Trade biodegradable materials instead. Cushiony, lightweight, and water-resistant, Johnnys won’t biodegrade while you're wearing them, but at the end of their natural life (three years or more), they can simply be buried in the ground. Hidden within the sole of the 100 percent biodegradable footwear is an apple seed, encased in fertilizer.


The materials which the shoe is made from contain naturally-occurring compounds which attract micro-organisms to feed on and break down the shoe over three years. But, after about 18 months, the shoe is sufficiently biodegraded to release the apple seed and for a new tree to start its life.

The further good news is that even if you don’t get around to burying them, they will still biodegrade if thrown in a landfill. In the meantime, there's no need to worry about them biodegrading on your feet. The material requires the micro-organisms found in soil to break them down.


“The nice thing about this project is that because it’s a biodegradable sneaker that grows into a tree, we can kind of help number one, offset people’s carbon footprint, but we’re also helping eliminate plastics,” Canadian inventor Luc Houle told Blog Toronto. “And the more people we can reach with that the more of an impact we can have.”


If you're wondering why the sneakers are called Johnnys, Luc Houle named them after Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) who famously wandered around Ontario and many northern U.S. states in the 1800s, sprinkling apple seeds and, today, is responsible for the creation of hundreds of orchards.

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80-year-old man searches high and low for nearly extinct heirloom apple trees – many the last of their kind – and reintroduces them to the world. When retired chemical engineer Tom Brown learned that an estimated 11,000 American varieties had gone extinct, he made it his life’s mission to save whatever was left of America’s rich apple heritage. Read on...