From yoga pants to one-use straws, plastics are killing the oceans. To add to this, waste being dumped into the water causes algae blooms in freshwater sources that also suffocate natural wildlife. A project between the UK shoe manufacturer, Vivo Barefoot, and Mississippi, USA company, Bloom Foam, turns these detrimental algae blooms and turn them into an eco-friendly shoe that helps save the oceans.
The collaboration between Vivo Barefoot and Bloom is the the Ultra III amphibious shoe. These trainers were made from 15 to 60 percent algal biomass harvested from freshwater sources that are of high risk for algae bloom.
According to Vivo Barefoot’s blog, one pair of the Ultra III shoes helps to re-circulate 57 gallons of filtered water back into natural habitats and prevents the equivalent of 40 balloons of carbon dioxide from being released into the earth’s atmosphere.
Harmful algae blooms occur in fresh water ways when too much chemical waste seeps into marine environments. The most prominent source of this waste is from fertilizers which contain phosphorous and nitrates that create conditions that trigger uncontrollable algae growth. The algae feeds on the nutrients but release toxins that are harmful to humans, animals, and deplete the water of oxygen and block sunlight. This toxic environment leads to mass deaths of marine mammals, fish, birds, and pollute drinking water.
Bloom Foam had been producing plant-based, sustainable solutions to synthetic and petroleum-based foams. The collaboration with Vivo Barefoot to create the Amphibious Ultra III shoes is yet another product that they hope will help make the world a cleaner place.
Vivo Barefoot creates shoes designed sustainably and to give feet as close a feeling as possible to being barefoot no matter what activity.
Many more companies are striving to create eco-friendly versions of products that yoga practitioners often use. From yoga mats made out of cork or yoga pants made from recycled plastic fishing nets, being friendly to the environment is becoming much easier.
The Viva Barefoot Ultra III shoes in collaboration with Bloom Foam launches in July.