An ‘everlasting shoe’ with replaceable biodegradable parts has won the national Irish leg of the 2018 James Dyson Award.
DIT student, Evan Stuart (23), came up with the invention to combat 300 million pairs of shoes being discarded to landfill each year because they cannot be recycled.
“Shoes are not built to last or to be repaired,” he said. “The aim with most casual footwear is usually to make them ‘quick, cheap & fast’.”
Stuart set about developing a product that would prevent millions of shoes from sitting in landfill for up to 150 years. He spent over nine months developing hundreds of different concepts before eventually coming up with his ‘Everlasting’ shoe.
“In my mind I had five key criteria to make this work,” he said. “These included the shoe being recyclable, repairable, customisable, sustainable and eco-friendly. At the same time they had to look great and be comfortable or no one would wear them.”
Using biodegradable and recycled materials, Stuart created a range of casual footwear with removable and replaceable soles, uppers and insoles. Every component of the shoe is repairable so that when parts wear in time, the user can repair and personalise their shoes helping reduce the waste generated by footwear.
Evan has won the Irish leg of the James Dyson Award and €2,500. This is the first time a DIT student has won the award since it was introduced 14 years ago.
Stuart’s invention will now proceed to the international stage of the James Dyson award along with just two other Irish inventions (including a second one from DIT) and will compete against student inventions from 26 other countries for a €35,000 grand prize.