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ROOTS: Biodegradable 3D-Printed Designer Footwear

Material science company Balena & Designer Kitty Shukman Harness 3D-Printing, Uniquely Compostable Materials & Nature to Create Eco-chic Designer Slides

TEL AVIV, Israel and LONDON, July 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Balena, the material science company aimed at making advanced biodegradable polymer materials for a more sustainable fashion industry, today announced an exciting partnership with acclaimed designer Kitty Shukman to create a unique 3D-printed concept slide with a natural kick: ROOTS.


To create her unique, 3D-printed slides, Shukman utilized Balena's BioCir™, the first fully compostable and biodegradable elastomer for the fashion industry. The collaboration is a milestone in the intersection of fashion, technology, and environmental consciousness, helping usher in a new era of sustainable design. Kitty's artistic vision for the slide combined with Balena's expertise in bio-plastic materials has resulted in a truly remarkable designer item – as striking as it is circular.


Driven by the concept of 'roots', Kitty aimed to seamlessly integrate the branches and stems of the upper section of her slides into the outsole, mimicking the organic wrapping of roots beneath the foot. She intentionally designed the left and right shoes to have distinct characteristics, enhancing the playful notion of roots growing organically over the feet. The 3D-printed slides serve as an invitation to take a deep breath and find solace in the roots that ground us.

Through this unique footwear concept, Balena is determined to push the boundaries of 3D-printing to advance the adoption of compostable, biodegradable and simultaneously durable materials in the fashion industry. 3D-printing has the potential to revolutionize the materials landscape for fashion – one of the world's most polluting industries. Innovative designers like Kitty have begun to realize the promise of this burgeoning technology as well as the clear 'End-of-Life' enabled through the pioneering of next-gen materials like BioCir™ in order to create new designs which are beautiful, fashionable, and circular from end-to-end.

Balena's state-of-the-art in-house lab translated Kitty's design into a tangible reality, showcasing the immense potential of its BioCir™ material in 3D-printing – as previously demonstrated in other major manufacturing processes like injection molding and extrusion – to help generate sustainable footwear.

"Partnering with Kitty to create a truly remarkable and circular product has underlined the magic that happens when you put the right material in the hands of the right designer," said David Roubach, Founder and CEO of Balena. "Our combined creative vision has taken the dream of sustainable, scalable 3D-printing another step forward, and we hope to see leading fashion brands take a step in the same direction in the near future."

The BioCir manufacturing process is highly scalable, allowing for collaborations and seamless integration across diverse industries and all available manufacturing methods. Crucially, products crafted with BioCir undergo a responsible end-of-life cycle through a biological recycling mechanism. This entails complete decomposition and biodegradation in an industrial compost facility, safely returning it to the earth – a circular process essential for a sustainable future.

"I continually strive to strike a balance between functionality, sustainability, and style, and working with the Balena team to envision this new design has helped me imagine a day when our fashion industry becomes truly circular," said designer Kitty Shukman. "I hope to see 3D-printing continue to leave its mark as a unique, bold, and sustainable medium in the fashion industry on its way to becoming climate neutral."

About Balena

Balena is a material science company on a mission to create a circular future with its propriety fully biodegradable thermoplastic material and cutting-edge circular model to solve the 'end-of-life' problem for brands. Setting the standard for compostable and biodegradable plastics, Balena has created the first durable, flexible, and comfortable alternative to plastics in fashion. Founded in 2020 with offices in Tel Aviv and Milan, Balena is dedicated to setting the bar for future development of biodegradable plastics. For more information, please visit: www.balena.science.

Kitty Shukman

Kitty Shukman is an emerging force in the world of footwear design, captivating and enthusiastic with her innovative approach and artistic direction. With a keen eye for detail and an unwavering commitment to craftsmanship, she has quickly made a name for herself as a rising star in the industry.

Drawing inspiration from a wide range of sources, including art, architecture, and culture, Kitty infuses her designs with a distinct blend of creativity and functionality. Her bold aesthetic challenges traditional notions of footwear, pushing boundaries and redefining the possibilities of design. Each pair of shoes she crafts is meticulously engineered, combining cutting-edge technology with traditional techniques, ensuring a harmonious fusion of style and wearability.

Beyond her design work, Kitty is known for her dedication to sustainability and ethical practices. She strives to minimize the environmental impact of her creations by utilizing responsibly sourced materials and implementing eco-conscious production methods. Her commitment to social responsibility extends to fostering collaborations with artisans and craftsmen from diverse backgrounds, supporting local communities, and preserving traditional craftsmanship.

Balena Media Contact:  

Tamara Raynor-Cote
IL:  +972 58 676 6793
US: +1 914 336 4557
UK: +44 203 769 3469

Photo: https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2159942/Balena.jpg



SOURCE: https://www.prnewswire.com/il/news-releases/introducing-roots-biodegradable-3d-printed-designer-footwear-301883794.html

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