Shoes made of dandelions
Shoe brand Cole Haan developed a line of shoes made with a minimum of 25% of natural dandelion rubber.
During World War II, there was a shortage of natural rubber, as most of it comes from Southeast Asia. As early as 1941, an alternative was discovered in dandelions, since the milky white substance in the stems is actually latex. But while it became possible to make car tires out of dandelion rubber, when the war ended and supplies normalised, the dandelion was quickly forgotten.
However, another shortage of natural rubber is lurking on the horizon. Rubber trees grow in Southeast Asia and a small part of Africa, both of which are vulnerable areas due to social unrest and wars, and the trees by fungal disease. With all these complications, once more all eyes are on dandelions for natural rubber (read more about a European study about the flowers here).
With their Generation Zerøgrand II line, Cole Haan brings back the flower power. The lightweight soles are made from so-called FlowerFoam, which has a minimum of 25% dandelion rubber. In addition, the shoes are made with felt fabric consisting of 85% recycled plastic bottles (rPET) and 100% rPET laces.
Images: Cole Haan