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Trainers made from algae help the environment

Sport & Fitness

A shoe manufacturer has teamed up with San Diego-based Bloom to use algae harvested from waste in streams.

UK-based shoe manufacturer Vivobarefoot has collaborated with eco-company Bloom to use its namesake algae material to create trainers. Bloom utilizes algae harvested out of waste streams in the US and Asia, where too many nutrients in the water often causes algal blooms. These blooms kill aquatic wildlife such as fish, meaning no fertilizers need to be added in order to grow the algae, and its removal actually helps the environment.

The harvested algae biomass is dewatered and dried, polymerized into pellets, then combined with other compounds to ultimately form a soft, pliable foam. Depending on the formulation and intended application, the algae makes up anywhere from 15-60 percent of the finished product, which is said to be similar in quality to traditional petroleum-derived foam. Every pair of Vivobarefoot’s shoe will help recirculate 57 gallons of filtered water back into natural habitats, and prevent the equivalent of 40 balloons full of CO2 being released into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Environmentally friendly initiatives are applauded across all industries, with a biodegradable replacement for plastic microbeads in the works and an emissions-free cargo ship launching next year being just two examples. Would a company or product being eco-friendly encourage you to cooperate with them or it?

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