Biodegradable Sneakers Made in San Diego

by on January 9, 2023 · 0 comments

in Environment, San Diego


Tom Cooke isn’t just a San Diego surfer.

He’s president of a company called Blueview Footwear that makes biodegradable sneakers. Cooke knows the business of recreational footwear well, having worked for Reef and Vans.

The science behind these shoes comes from Stephen Mayfield, Blueview’s CEO and UC San Diego distinguished professor of molecular biology.

At Mayfield’s lab, pieces of the foam material that go into Blueview sneakers swirl in vials of liquid as they sit on a gently moving platform. The water is filled with tiny ocean organisms that are invited to consume the material.

“As we’re degrading our foams we’re also trying to isolate the organisms that biodegrade them,” Mayfield said.

Biodegradable plastics that go into Blueview shoes are made from algae oil. Mayfield said it’s ironic that ancient deposits of algae oil have become the petroleum that are mined for normal plastics.

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