IPP&T Magazine Online

Biodegradable sneaker contains zero plastic

November 30, 2021   Don Horne

Unlike traditional footwear which contains harmful plastic waste, Johnny Footwear has created the world’s first biodegradable sneaker that grows into a tree.

“Most people don’t realize the shoes they wear are harmful to the planet. They contain plastic that floods our oceans and landfills and sticks around for up to 1,000 years” says Luc Houle, founder of the environmentally conscious shoe brand.

He realized something had to be done since the industry wasn’t changing their practices quickly enough.

“Our compound feels like traditional athletic shoes, but they biodegrade in 3 years rather than the typical 1,000,” he says.


The company launched its crowdfunding campaign on October 12, raising over $73,000.

The shoes won’t biodegrade on your feet. It requires consistent exposure to the elements in an underground environment to activate. After eighteen months the midsole will be 53 per cent biodegraded and an apple seed is released where it will begin the process of germination.

Based on innovative engineering and design concepts, Johnny successfully addresses the problems faced by today’s shoe aficionados in areas of mobility, convenience, comfort, versatility, durability, and aesthetics, unmatched by most other competitive products.

All photos courtesy of Johnny Footwear

The inaugural model boasts several breakthrough features:

  • Water-resistant uppers– Johnny’s organic cotton uppers gives peace of mind while walking in the rain due to a breathable beeswax coating the keeps water out without leaving harmful chemicals in the environment.
  • Collapsible heel– Each pair of shoes comes with a collapsible heel that allows the wearer to slip them on without the need to lace them up.
  • Anti-odour– Johnny shoes come equipped with cork insoles that mould to the wearer’s foot over time and become more comfortable. They’re naturally anti-bacterial which prevents foul foot odours.
  • Environmental commitment– Not only do the shoes themselves grow into trees, but Johnny will also plant a tree for every shoe sold. This initiative came from the realization that not everyone will be able to plant their shoes since not everyone has access to do so. For this reason, Johnny is matching the wearer’s commitment to offset the wearer’s carbon footprint.
  • Ultralight– Johnny shoes weigh in at only 335 grams due to the nature of their revolutionary compound and organic materials. “The shoes are so light; you won’t even notice you’re wearing them” says Houle.
  • Versatility – While many eco-friendly brands have trouble keeping up with trendy styling, Johnny prides itself in its versatile and accessible design. The shoes are made to work with any outfit regardless of activity or outing.

Houle says Kickstarter was the ideal platform to launch Johnny.

Luc Houle

“This is a new product, a new company and a new way of bringing innovation to the world.”

Though the Kickstarter is now over, Johnny is accepting pre-orders through their website for August 2022 delivery.

You can learn more by visiting the company’s website https://www.johnnyfootwear.com

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