With feedback on my first report Emma mentioned broadening my materials exploration and look into new technologies and changing the common build up of the shoe.
- 3D printing
- Lazer cutting
- 3D scanning
- Hemp, flax, cork, Bioplastic.
Try to revolutionise the shoe as well as making it biodegradable.
Meeting with Emma Fox
Emma thought the primary research methods i was looking into were working well and although I was doing more than 2 they work well together at explaining current material build up of shoes and what some alternatives might be.
The methods I am using are Prototyping and product autopsy targeting product functionality. These are both qualitative and quantitative, maybe a bit more quantitative.
And the method I am using to target experience is interviews. I will be interviewing footwear market professionals about what the current market is like and their opinions on what they value and how they are responding to sustainable footwear.
When prototyping with materials look further at existing biodegradable materials specifically bioplastic.
There are new materials using starch, glycerin and vinegar have been used in architecture. It is very solid.
RPET is being used which is %100 recyclable forever.
When recording material exploration use scales and figures. Hardness scales, Ratios and measurements. Durability figures. This further pushes the quantitative method.
Look more into textile studies, lots of new interesting things happening with textile innovations.
I got a hold of an old pair of shoes for each brand case study i looked into.
- Asics, a shoe built for support and performance, health benefits.
- Nike, hugely popular shoe creating many market leading sneakers.
- Converse, traditional brand that helped grow athleisure.
- Allbirds- new brand with focus on sustainability.
It was useful to see all the different material used in these sneakers and how the number changes with each different targets. Next I will look further into how the different materials are made, how eco friendly they are and how these materials are put together.
A class mate introduced me to Vivo Barefoot. They are an American Brand that has been designing leather footwear that works to be more sustainable and eco friendly.
It gave me the idea of cork as a material, maybe good for the insole of a shoe.
Working further on the research report. I swapped work with classmate Chris to go over each others work as fresh eyes.b I got some useful help to make my report more easily understandable and flow well.
Getting someone else to go over your work works well to answer ant questions and make sure everything works and serves its purpose.
Design criteria V2
Design Criteria 2
More in depth design criteria, arranged into bullet point sentences.
Interview with Andy Smith from Barkers
Furthered my material testing in making some fruit leather. Following a recipe I found online I first thought it could be a good natural material with no environmental impact but I soon found out it is used as a snack and so isn’t very strong or durable.
It involved cutting up some apples, adding lemon juice, heating up and turning it into a smooth puree. Then dehydrating in an oven for 8 hours.
Beginning of my material exploration.
I was interested by glycerine and gelatine being used to make a gooey sheet material. Through research and youtube searches I found recipes for glycerine foam that is commonly used in prosthetics, it was easy to do and had easily accessible materials.
The first two images show the foam I created. The recipe suggested beating for 10 minutes but i thought for the sole of a shoe it will need to be a dense foam and so I stopped early, after about 2 minutes. I used Listerine as the antibacterial agent to stop the materials from breaking down quickly. This gave off an odd smell so instead next time I will try with clover oil.
The second two images show the result of the material setting before beating. The video tutorial (Glycerin foam; youtube) said if you were to leave the mixture as is it will form a rubber puck and so i tested that out too. For this I don’t think honey is needed as it kept quite sticky and without honey is basically glycerin and gelatine sheets.
First interview with Dan from Timberland shoes
Meeting up with Dan was good to finally get some market insight.
He knew a lot about the industry from both manufacturing to selling. i recorded the entire interview ending with 55 minutes of useful audio.
One of the positives I took out from the interview was the recognition of ath-leisure and that this area is showing the most growth in the footwear market. He also hinted that he thinks more people are wanting one type of shoe for all activities and so buying less shoes.
I used these questions as a base for my interview and then moved into areas the interviewee felt most comfortable and knowledgeable in.
I had a conversation with my boss at work (Barkers) about sustainability as a whole, he interestingly compared it to the ‘the good place’. In this show when people die they either go to the good place or the bad place depending on how many points they earn while they are alive, in the end they come to the conclusion that the entire structure doesnt work as no one has gotten enough points to get into the good place for decades. Point being that no matter what you do you cant earn good points. You can save a child from being hit by a car but then you drive home later that day earning bad points.
He proposed this a little similar to sustainability. Product lines these days have many intermediaries, that are involved in the execution and delivery of products. To label a product as %100 sustainable involves so much work in making sure every aspect is running cleanly is nearly impossible in todays market. For this reason brands tend to focus more on eco-friendly and green products. He says Barkers tends to focus on responsible production, this is taking steps towards using what is currently the most sustainable while still being far from 100% sustainable.
As an example barkers has a new range of jeans, these jeans are sourced from japan for one of the cleanest factories in the world. Although they reduce water consumption by 80% and use of commercial drying by 75% the rest is still done the old way. It is taking steps to being more sustainable but will be a long process.
One-on-one with Emma
Meeting with Emma I ran through my rough contents list for my secondary research and she commented it had been broken down well but it is all covering secondary research mainly around the market place. She suggested that I start writing my report that this would be the third section after an introduction and some background.
She said it may be a good time to start dipping into some primary research, one of my methods would definitely be prototyping but this could involve multiple methods including case studies, product autopsy, perceptual mapping, and material exploration all revolving around the product.
My second method could be interviews beginning with market specialists, this would mean approaching suppliers and buyers who have experience in the market and forecasting that can provide insight into what people want and what they value. This would focus on the people and i can speak to some consumers on how they feel about footwear and sustainability. Speaking to market specialists would give me the results quicker than approaching a large number of consumers.