Sneakers with uppers made from pineapple, apple and grape scraps and recycled rubber soles

Id.Eight is a new footwear brand born following a meeting in Florence – of people and values – that brought together the Korean designer Dong Seon Lee and the Neapolitan product manager Giuliana Borzillo. He graduated in fashion in Seoul and came to Italy with a scholarship; she graduated in Naples and obtained a Master’s degree in Florence. They share an awareness that the fashion industry produces a huge amount of waste. Hence, their project to make low environmentally impactful footwear, produced in the Marche region.

Key features of their line of sneakers are the uppers made from materials coming from food waste: “apple leather” comes from their peels and cores, “pineapple leather” from their leaves, and “grape leather”, from seed scraps. On top of this, they use mesh and lycra from plastic waste, which are then shredded to obtain a thread that they can weave.

The soles are made of recycled rubber from waste parts of old soles or other industrial residues that are ground up. “The result is therefore a totally sustainable shoe” – explains Giuliana Borzillo – “which involves the whole production chain and the packaging, too, is obviously made from recycled paper, into which a ball of earth and flower seeds is inserted, to be planted in a flowerpot at home or in the city’s green spaces to attract bees”.

However, this green soul of the brand does not mean it underestimates design: “Design is fundamental” – says Dong Seon – “because sustainability does not mean renouncing aesthetics, comfort and innovation”. It was these clear concepts, then, that pushed the two creators of the brand to launch a fundraiser on Kickstarter with the aim of financing the first production of the sneakers, whose prototypes were presented at Micam in February in the Italian Footwear Start Up