After mushrooms, cobwebs or algae, the fashion industry is becoming a fan of dandelions, these yellow-flowered plants that bloom in the fields in spring. A sustainable resource that could soon find its way into your dressing room. The American brand Cole Haan has even made it his favorite material for its new pair of sneakers.
Symbols of renewal and the arrival of sunny days, dandelions, also called lion’s teeth, grow mainly in fields, meadows and wastelands, as well as in our gardens. After flowering, they turn into a whitish ball that children – and adults alike – love to blow to watch dozens of ‘parachutes’ fly away. But this plant also seduces with its many benefits, which can be found here and there in the kitchen, as well as in the form of capsules, herbal teas and other juices to combat certain daily ailments.
Dandelion has also been known for decades as an alternative to rubber tree latex. When you pick the said plant, the white liquid substance that flows from the stem is none other than latex… which very quickly turns into a kind of elastic gum that we all know very well, rubber. From the end of the 1920s, this aspect had mainly interested the Soviet Union, which had then grown the dandelion on a large scale, before (finally) abandoning this idea.
But the climate crisis seems to have given the plant another chance. For example, the German manufacturer Continental, in search of sustainable solutions, has turned to dandelion for the production of its tires. One thing led to another, dandelion root also seems to have caught the attention of the fashion industry, which is also looking for alternatives to its materials that are too polluting and harmful to the environment.
Dandelion rubber in a pair of sneakers
Who says rubber, says shoe, or rather shoe sole. The American brand Cole Haan, which has just launched the “Generation Zerøgrand II” basketball, whose outsole is partly made of natural dandelion rubber.
More in detail: this new sneaker, intended for both men and women, has a FlowerFoam outsole, itself made of 25% dandelion rubber. Sufficient to allow admission, according to Cole Haan “to absorb shocks while optimizing the damping”† In other words, durability is no substitute for the quality or know-how of the American label. The pair of sneakers is finished with a vegan microfiber suede upper and laces made from recycled plastic bottles.
Offered in Cole Haan’s online store and in some stores, the sneaker is available in a wide choice of sizes and colors and retails for $130 (about $115).
Do not have fun blowing on the sole, chances are it will fall apart.
(ETX Daily Up)