While sustainable shoes up until now tended to either look suited for Middle Earth or were limited to recyclable and repurposed options, Oat Shoes signals a welcome leap forward in the market with their cleanly-styled, fully biodegradable sneakers.
Founder Christiaan Maats took on the seemingly-impossible challenge of designing and fabricating decomposable footwear as a continuation of his graduation project in product design. After over two years in development, the Amsterdam-based label finally introduced prototypes of its Virgin Collection, a brilliantly-conceived lineup of kicks constructed from hemp canvas, bio-cotton, cork and certified biodegradable plastic, earning the fledgling company second prize at the Green Fashion Awards last January.
A pair of Oats can literally be buried in a garden (or tossed in a compost pile) after use, although that's not likely to happen too immediately—versatile and laid-back, the subtly colorful soles will keep you looking fresh through seasons to come. Even more, hemp canvas is naturally antibacterial and a fantastic moisture-wicker, which also extends wearability.
The Virgin Collection's four styles, two high tops and two-low tops, will be available for purchase this spring on the Oat Shoes website for €140-150.