Biodegradable children’s shoes with an expiration date

Designer Shahar Asor created a knit-based, biodegradable composite material that has the potential to disassemble at a pre-defined time and used this to designed children’s shoes “with an expiration date”.

For her final bachelor project at Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, Asor explored the contradiction between the long “shelf life” of a garment and people’s need to change their wardrobe by applying the concept of an expiration date to the fashion industry.

“I was inspired by the way we buy groceries and found myself wondering, what if we could buy clothes the same way we buy milk,” Asor states, “according to our objective needs and taking into account the expiration date of the product?”

The material can be made with different textures under specific condition. This way, it is possible to knit soft textile and strong flexible surfaces all in the same swatch.

Using the material, Asor designed children’s shoes called Best Before, which are fully fashioned on a double bed knitting machine. Each shoe is knitted in one piece, including the upper and the sole. Children need new shoes fairly often, not necessarily because of wear, but rather because they grow out of their shoes.

The shoes are conceptionally designed to disassemble in the washing machine within a pre-defined time frame. When the expiration date nears, the Best Before logo appears on the left of the shoe. This means that the shoe will disassemble in the washing machine at the next wash. After the shoes have dissolved, the remainder of the material starts to biodegrade.

The project was done in collaboration with Professor Oded Shoseyov from the faculty of agriculture, food and environment at the Hebrew University. It is still under development, but Asor believes it presents an interesting alternative to the way we consume fashion.

Photos: Noi Einav


  1. ora stibbe says:

    how can i buy shoes?

  2. Sigrid says:

    Hi Ora,

    It would be best to contact the designer directly if you’re interested in the product.

    On behalf if Team MaterialDistrict,

  3. rajiv shah says:

    please gives a headsup when they are available

  4. Sigrid says:

    Hi Rajiv,

    For more information about the project, you can contact the designer through the link in the article.

    On behalf of Team MaterialDistrict,