The problem with fashion is its fast nature. Fashion is one of the biggest polluters simply because it moves quick and creates tonnes of waste in the process. Moreover, mass-production in the fashion industry means it inherently embraces a one-size-fits-all business model. If you’ve ever worn a tailored suit or dress, you know that it’s just miles ahead of something off a shelf. However, that doesn’t necessarily apply to footwear because not too many people make bespoke shoes. The result is that a vast chunk of the world’s population wears shoes that don’t fit them well… because a factory manufactured shoes in a particular size without considering foot shape, width, toe length, and the heel arch. Swiss-based URBNC3 is looking to change this by bringing a new sustainability-meets-tech approach to footwear. URNBC3’s sandals are designed to order, based on a 3D scan of your foot. Each shoe is sustainably built using natural materials that don’t have an adverse effect on the environment, and is designed to uniquely fit the shape of your foot perfectly. URBNC3’s sandals are to your feet what a well-stitched suit is to your silhouette and sense of style… and we believe everyone should have at least one pair of well-fitted shoes!
Designer: Kristýna Hrabánková of URBNC3
URBNC3’s sandals take on an approach that’s consumer and planet-first. Each sandal is tailor-made to the shape of your foot, giving you the perfect fit that makes you wear the sandal more and for longer. They’re designed to be stylish, gender-neutral, and even customizable, with the ability to switch straps, change strap styles (choosing between crossed straps or straight straps), and experiment with unique color palettes. The straps are made from a vegan plant-based leather created from apples, offering cruelty-free, bio-based leather that reduces fruit waste. The base is made from a biopolymer too, which is industrially compostable and has a measurably lower impact on the environment when compared to conventional materials used in other shoes.
The base is URBNC3’s secret sauce. Each sandal’s sole comes meticulously 3D printed to fit your foot perfectly. The 3D prints are generated using a scan of your foot, that can be created right through URBNC3’s smartphone app using the camera. Complex algorithms capture 3D data, generating a CAD model of your foot; and URBNC3’s built-in software, developed in collaboration with foot health experts, helps create the sole to perfectly match your foot, while also accounting for ergonomic adjustments for optimal comfort. The result is a sandal that’s just as unique as you are, and caters to all foot shapes and sizes, factoring the requirements of wide feet, slim feet, flat feet, high arches, and even rare occasions where people have feet that are marginally different in size. This means no more cramped feet, blisters, or foot aches as a result of badly designed footwear!
The URBNC3’s sandals come in slip-on or strapped-in variants, and you can customize your footwear right through the app, choosing your sole color, strap color, as well as how many add-on straps you want. The soles will be 3D-printed right in URBNC3’s facility in Zurich, Switzerland, while straps and materials will be sourced locally as well as nearby countries within Europe, to help keep the sandal’s carbon footprint as low as possible while allowing URBNC3 to ensure the highest quality possible. Each bespoke-made slip-on sandal starts at €135 ($149 USD) or €154 ($169) if you want to upgrade to the strapped-in model.
BY SARANG SHETH