Parents have probably dreamed of such a thing before, and now it is about to come true. No more endless and expensive shopping sprees trying to find new shoes for your little ones. A British brand is currently working on a stretch shoe system that grows with your child. The project, which has just received a £250,000 boost, aims to reduce the waste inherent in children’s fashion.
Every four months or so, it’s the same refrain… Children’s shoes must be changed because their feet are growing at breakneck speed. And while the second-hand market allows consumers to resell less worn models, most pairs of sneakers, sandals and boots purchased for our young offspring end up in landfill. In the UK, of the 80 million shoes purchased each year, more than eight out of ten end up in the trash; which prompted the founder of the Pip & Henry brand, Jeroo Doodhmal, herself a mother, to introduce the concept of more sustainable shoes, and to go even further.
Behind the Pip & Henry brand is the story of a mother who quickly became aware of the impact of children’s fashion on the planet and who, after much research, decided to participate in the transformation of the second most polluting industry in the world. The idea? Changing the way shoes are made and then destroyed, thanks to a responsible brand that mainly relies on sustainable materials and packaging (organic cotton, pineapple leaf fiber), and a free recycling program to recover models worn. But faced with the mountain of waste generated by the many pairs of shoes worn each year by the little ones, it has chosen to go even further with an innovation that should truly change the lives of parents.
Doubles the life of shoes
Footwear brand Pip & Henry is working on a stretchy shoe that would adapt to children as they grow. The shoe is designed to offer the possibility of being lengthened by a size and a half. The goal is to wear the shoes as much as possible and not have to replace them – just – for a question of size. This innovation is based on the principle of a stretchable material and/or sole and is aimed at children up to the age of 7, a period during which the feet grow particularly quickly. This mechanism would double the lifespan of the shoes, as explained by Jeroo Doodhmal to the British publication The Daily Mail.
The innovation is currently being studied, and the founder hopes it could be marketed in 2023. Progress on the project is expected to accelerate thanks to a £250,000 endowment received by the brand, which is one of four winners from the flyer of British retailer John Lewis. Future Fund, which supports “pioneering ideas and innovations that can accelerate the transition to a more circular economy”.
While Pip & Henry’s “classic” shoes are currently around £60 (approximately $75), you’ll need to spend an extra £20 ($25) to get yourself these even more durable designs, which could inspire many others in the world. children’s fashion sector.
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