Top Gear: Old Chewing Gum Becomes New Kicks


Photo: Gumdrop Ltd

Remember the last piece of chewing gum you threw away simply because it no longer had any flavor? Not that we can blame you, of course, as it takes a special type of individual to continually chomp down on what has effectively become a flavorless piece of artificial whale blubber.

It takes an even more unique individual to look at that discarded wad and see the potential for hot new kicks — like, say, the people behind Gumdrop.

Amsterdam marketing organization Iamsterdam, designer Explicit Wear and the sustainability company Gumdrop have all combined forces to create a compound-like product called “Gum-Tec”, which is about 20 percent recycled chewing gum. That gum-turned-compound material is then used to craft the sole of this Summer’s hottest sneaker trend. Even crazier? The shoes actually smell like the gum they’re made out of. So yes, those pink-soled kicks will indeed smell just like the bubble gum flavor you grew up on.

Now, you’re probably wondering what type of gum-hungry wildebeest they use to chew up thousands of pounds of gum, right? Well, sorry to burst your bubble as there is no cave-dwelling beast sugar drunk off your favorite flavor of Big League Chew. Instead, the used gum is actually taken directly off the streets of Amsterdam, where nearly 3.3 million pounds of it is discarded on a yearly basis.

Nearly 2.2 pounds of recycled chewing gum is used for every four pairs of shoes, which breaks down to about half a pound of chewed up gum per pair.

As for the bubble gum-inspired sneakers, you can pick them in on of two colorways: bubblegum pink or black and red. They can be yours for the sticky price of 190 euros (or $232).



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