slippyfish wrote:I'm not a shoe designer, so pardon my breaking-in here, but it does seem that the footwear design industry can be questioned a little more stringently than, for example, a cellphone or computer or the electricity itself.
What other industries create something so complex, only to have it out-of-fashion before it even begins physically degrading in utility or appearance? Footwear, especially sneakers, are on a super-fast obsolescence time-line, quite disproportionate to the amount of production and materials that go into them.
I mean, I design hulking beastly equipment using all kinds of materials, but at least we build it to work for ten years. It will spend eons in a landfill, but we are working on DFD strategies that might help. Sneakers are visually obsolete in, what, three months?...before the 'next' thing is in the works.
i think you are using sneakerheads as your test pool of consumers when they are like 0.01% of the buying pool. most consumers do keep their shoes a very long time like R said. Also, im assuming this is true for most all shoe companies, the vast majority of the pairs produced are in a few long running, well performing sku's, so the 'change every season' fashion stuff doesn't get produced on the same scale at the bread and butter stuff that moms and dads wear across the nation.. or world.
and there are many other industries and companies that create something so complex that gets 'replaced' by another version in the same year. so although i do have some disdain for the waste in our industry, i wont agree that its somehow much worse than many others.
we produce many shoes that are built to last way longer than what the consumer wants to use them. cant blame the consumers lust for new stuff on the industry itself.
im still using a original razr cell phone, just because they came out with 12 new version doesn't mean i have to buy them.
Its great to see the additive chemical or whatever it is that can be added to EVA midsoles so that they decompose after 20 years or so, and recycled rubber and environmentally friendly leather, recycled linings etc, but when doing all of those raises the retail cost of the shoe by $10-$15 it makes no sense to anyone.
It seems that ground up shoes and shoe materials could be used for lots of things... generic padding, cushioning material, surfacing material, etc, but i guess its the chemicals in the plastics and leathers that prevent this (i dont have that deep of knowledge of them)? Hopefully that can be solved.