Woolybubs wants to get rid of your baby’s waste. Shoe waste, that is. With the help of biodegradable fabric and a pot of boiling water, the company has created a kids shoe that is completely dissolvable.
Named “The Newbie,” the shoe solves two key issues: the collection of kids’ outgrown footwear that accumulates over the years and the 40 years it can take for a shoe to decompose. Some parents may engage in eco friendly practices such as donating old shoes or saving them as hand-me-downs, but The Newbie gets rid of the waste altogether. All you have to do is boil the shoe in water for 40 minutes, and it will completely melt away.
How it works — The shoes look like soft, sock-like moccasins and are constructed using a 100-percent biodegradable silk fabric. The silk is then coated with water-soluble plastic, a material typically used for detergent pods and some beauty products. Unfortunately, a study found that 75 percent of detergent pod plastics end up polluting the environment despite an industry-wide claim that they’re fully biodegradable. So while the shoe’s fabric may be eco-friendly, the plastic probably isn’t.
Still, Woolybubs says the shoes leave behind a non-toxic liquid that won’t damage your pipes if its poured down the drain. They also won’t dissolve in the laundry machine or onto the pavement if they’re worn in the rain, as the shoes will only disintegrate in boiling water. If you don’t want to put your favorite pot to the test, natural composting will also break down the shoes in a slower process.
The Newbie can withstand everyday wear and tear, and Woolybubs ensures that they will last through the foot growth of two children if you still want to use them as hand-me-downs. If you have older kids, the brand also offers The Toddle, another sustainable shoe in its roster. The Toddle doesn’t have the same water-dissolving properties, but it can still be sent back to Woolybubs for industrial recycling.
You can choose from blue, pink, green, and yellow options for The Newbie on the Woolybubs website and sizes range between newborn and 12 months. They retail for $34, an affordable option that’ll save parents and the planet.