Fashion Designer Makes Shoes that Grow into Apple Trees, Instead of Growing Landfills

The legend of Johnny Appleseed: the man who walked about Ontario and the northern United States spreading apple pips, takes root in a new pair of kicks that biodegrade and grow an apple tree when they are discarded.

Tackling plastic pollution is the principle purpose behind the new shoe, but they also help the environment a little bit by aiding in reforestation.

33-year-old Toronto resident Luc Houle is working to bring “Johnny,” the brand name of the shoe, to market through Kickstarter, which is currently just $1,000 shy of his $55,000 target.

Johnnys are simple canvas everyday shoes made without plastic, utilizing Fair Trade biodegradable materials instead.

Cushiony, lightweight, and water-resistant, Johnnys won’t biodegrade off of your feet, but after the years wear then down and the decision to move on to new kicks arrives, they can be buried, as hidden within the sole is an apple seed encased in fertilizer.

The materials which the shoe is made from contain naturally-occurring compounds which attract microorganisms to feed on and break down the shoe over three years.

Even if you don’t get around to burying them, they will still biodegrade if thrown in a landfill.

When the campaign is successful ($109 will get you a pair and a tree planted in your name), Houle hopes to have them available to a wide range of people by August of next year.

“The nice thing about this project is that because it’s a biodegradable sneaker that grows into a tree, we can kind of help number one, offset people’s carbon footprint, but we’re also helping eliminate plastics,” Houle told Blog Toronto. “And the more people we can reach with that the more of an impact we can have.”