These shoes are made from apples

Sampla is a sustainable footwear startup from Ireland, and in their current Kickstarter campaign, they're offering a new pair of animal-friendly shoes made from … apples?!

Rethinking the classic tennis shoe, the upper material of our shoe is made from a vegan material called AppleSkin™. It is made using repurposed apple waste from the juice industry in Italy. The other components of the shoe were carefully selected. Organic and recycled materials were consciously chosen where possible. Nice, simple and sustainable.

Partnering with Trees on the Land, we will plant an indigenous tree in Ireland for each pair produced. To keep carbon emissions as low as possible, our logistics partner sends our shoes using the most optimal route for each delivery. They are neatly packed and sent in our 0% plastic packaging.

And a little more detail about the actual process behind the AppleSkin™:

The apple core, pips and skins are dried and milled to a fine apple powder. Then it’s applied to a tear-resistant woven roll with cotton fabric. These rolls are heated and given an added protective layer to produce a weather-resistant durable fabric. Organic pigments are added to the brown fabric, producing colours of choice. We are left with a material that is breathable, durable, and of course, 100% vegan.

The Kickstarter Campaign has an "Early Bird Special" that'll run you about $100 for a pair of apple shoes and a t-shirt (plus the carbon offset tree planting). This is apparently about 40% less than what would ultimately be the retail price. Read the rest

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Despite almost universal agreement that basically defines "so boring as to become disgusting", the Red Delicious apple continues to be the most-grown variety in the US. More than 50,000 bushels of the vile things are turned out every year. This story by Rowan Jacobsen in Mother Jones explains the Red Delicious' undeserved success and follows the stories of entrepreneurs who are trying to bring back varieties of apple long lost to the consumer market. Read the rest