Israeli designer Lou Moria has designed a fully recyclable shoe by using vacuum forming technology for his project called ‘last 21986’. Today we can buy shoes for $ 10 USD and we know they won’t last until next season. Even so they’re cheap they’re still very complex for manufacturing and constructed by a lot of different materials and processes. When we throw them away we actually throw pieces of leather, plastic, textile and metal glued and assembled together.
“In this model I tried to think about shoe manufacture and marketing in a different way,” said Moria. “This shoe may not last long but it has been made in a few seconds from one material and technology and can easily be recycled as one piece.”
The shoes are realized by thermoforming, one of the oldest and most common methods of processing plastic materials. Vacuum formed products are all around us and play a major part in our daily lives.
The process involves heating a plastic sheet until soft and then draping it over a mould. A vacuum is applied sucking the sheet into the mould. The sheet is then ejected from the mould. Unlike other thermoplastic forming processes, where powder or resin are the starting point, vacuum forming uses extruded plastic sheet. With vacuum forming a secondary process may be required to trim the formed sheet to arrive at the finished part. The trimmed waste can then be re-ground and recycled.
Vacuum Forming Shoe is part of the project “last 21986”, in which Moria tried to examine our relationships with the objects around us through footwear: each shoes she designed allows the user to interact with them in a certain way – one can dismantle them, fix them, influence them, refresh them, and design them according to ones taste and desire.
With each shoe in the series a different relationship is created – it can be short, long, intimate, mechanical, sentimental, or simply functional. Either way, it allows the user to take an active part in shaping of the relationship that develops between them with simple actions.
all images and video courtesy of LOU MORIA