Among the distinction project (Concept category) of the 51st Annual Design Review is Johnny Applesandal, eco-conscious footwear that allows the customer to participate in environmental cleansing through the dispersion of soil-cleaning plant seeds.
With the production of over 12 billion pairs of shoes a year, footwear creates millions of tons of waste material. This inefficiency in resources carries throughout the entire lifecycle of the product: from scrap material at the factory to used shoes in the dump. Johnny Apple Sandal not only works to prevent this gross waste of resources, but also takes proactive measures to reverse the effects of pollution.
As the footwear is used, the soles wear thin exposing seed channels. This allows seeds to slowly escape. Phytoremediating plant species are known to contribute to the environment by breaking down toxic substances and naturally cleansing soil and water. Once the seeds have been sown, and the soles are worn out, the shoes are returned to the manufacturer for disassembly and material reclamation.