Imagine your favorite pair of shoes kept on kicking for life? Forever, ever? Sounds like the good LYF, right? That’s exactly what Aly and Beth Khalifa envision.
The pair aims to “establish the new cutting edge of sustainability” by creating sustainable products that can easily be repaired or broken down and recycled by anyone, starting with shoes. That’s right: these long-lasting clogs can be easily mended with a little fabric cutting and carving techniques. LYF is about loving your footprint, the company proclaims. Its own carbon footprint was reduced by 50% based on how they make their products.
These $150 shoes for LYF are made of one solid main connector piece which holds down the outer shell fabric and the sole. Aly Khalifa said:
Having worked in footwear, I have been exposed to nasty solvents like Toluene, which are used to assemble most footwear. These glues are bad for factory workers, bad for the planet and ultimately prevent the shoes from being recycled. We decided to address this head-on with a mechanical assembly and were inspired by Japanese Joinery which creates famously strong structures without glue or fasteners. Once we established the modular mechanical approach to making shoes, it allowed us to escape the centralized manufacturing model all together. In fact it allows us to make shoes in places as small and intimate as a retail shop.”
The Raleigh, North Carolina-based company hopes to sell its shoes online and in brick and mortar stores. Check out their Kickstarter page and video:
“Our product is made on-demand for the consumer and establishes the new cutting edge of sustainability,” Aly said. “Our process utilizes the latest digital techniques to make truly custom footwear. Not only do we reduce our waste and carbon footprint in the way we make our product, but it is designed for disassembly so that we can keep it out of the landfill and allow them to be LYF-Cycled into new shoes.”
So if you’d like to repair the shoes, you would find patterns to cut out, for example, a new sole on a 3D printer. And while they’re not yet 100% recyclable, Aly believes these shoes can empower small businesses to create their own line of LYF shoes too. This could spawn a new generation of maker clothes technology!
LYF Shoe Styles
The current styles available are pretty colorful and funky, with some more traditional “Wood Grain” or “Pinstripe” looks available. But don’t worry: if you can’t find a fit for you, you might be able to soon. The company’s ultimate dream is to establish assembly shops in every city to allow makers to create shoes that reflect local artists, tastes and cultures!
If you’re wondering why companies don’t make products that just last longer, or for that matter, why it potentially takes so long to find cures for diseases, Chris Rock has some words of wisdom from one of the funniest stand-up routines of all-time:
The government curing AIDS? They can’t even cure Athlete’s Foot. Because there ain’t no money in the cure, the money is in the medicine. That’s like Cadillac making a car that lasts for fifty years… And you know they can do it! But they ain’t gonna do something that fucking dumb! Shit! They got metal on the space shuttle that can go around the moon and withstand temperatures up to 20,000 degrees. You mean to tell me you don’t think they can make an El Dorado where the fucking bumper don’t fall off?
There is hope, though. Ironically when compared Rock’s speech, researchers may have found a cure for AIDS from a foot cream that battles Athlete’s Foot! With this and the advent of sustainable shoes, faith in humanity may be restored. But a for future car that lasts forever, don’t hold your breath 🙂