Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Shoes for a Cause: Using Recycled Materials to Make Shoes for the Homeless in Detroit

Shoes are often thought of as frivolous, but serve an essential function- protection from the elements.

Students in Stephen Schock’s, a professor of industrial design at the College for Creative Studies, class are using recycled materials and creativity to serve the needs of the many homeless people in Detroit. These shoes are serving a critical need as there are not enough warm shoes available, leading the homeless to be at high risk for frostbite and amputation, according to Jennifer Conlin of the New York Times.

 One of the specific designs is the Ulterior Survival Bag, described and demonstrated in the above video. The bag can be turned into sneaker or boot-like shoes, giving the owner the flexibility of protection when shelter is not available, especially during cold weather. The bag is made from recycled materials, according to the designer, Mike Forbes.

“I saw how many people in Detroit were suffering from frostbite and trench foot, and with a shortage of winter footwear it seemed the right product to try to design…It is meant to provide the homeless with a better option than garbage bags, which they usually use to carry their stuff and cover their feet,” said Forbes to the New York Times.

A similar idea came from the University of Michigan’s integrated product design class, where students came up with using recycled tire treads and seatbelts to create sandals. The sandals are called Treads Motor City sandals and were inspired my mats homeless men made from tire treads. The new design gives these men a new income stream from making the shoes and selling them to the public, according to Conlin.

What do you think of these two ideas?  

Related Posts:
NFL Players to Wear Cleats to Commemorate September 11
Would you run barefoot?
New Nike Flyknit Sneakers: More Sock than Shoe
Cheesy! Shoes Made of Melted Cheese

Other Post You May Enjoy:

Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment