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Scitech / Earth Matters At Home

Sustainable sneakers

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Did you know that every year approximately 20 billion pairs of new shoes are produced? And it’s estimated that about 300 million pairs end up in landfill.

Look at your own shoes now. Do you know where those materials came from? Do you know where they might go when you are finished with them?

Many companies are moving towards sustainable fashion practices, using science, technology, maths and engineering to design and produce Earth-friendly products. Step into the world of sustainable fashion and apply your STEM skills to make your own sustainable sneakers!

What you’ll need

  • pencil/pens/markers
  • paper
  • sticky tape, masking tape or duct tape
  • cardboard
  • scissors
  • household items that you can recycle or repurpose – natural materials, such as bamboo, leaves, and tree bark or synthetic materials like bubble wrap, rubber bands, tennis balls, sponges, food packaging, shopping bags or old clothes.
  • this worksheet

What you’ll do

Use this worksheet to help you to design, construct and share your earth-friendly sneaker.

Step 1

Research companies that are already making sustainable sneakers and consider what materials you could use.

Step 2

Draw and label the design of your ideal Earth-friendly sneaker.

Step 3

Build a prototype from household materials to test your ideas.

Step 4

Share your design with your friends and family to help them learn about sustainable fashion.

For an extra challenge

Consider making your shoes “circular”. A circular economy is one aimed at eliminating waste and using resources in a continuing loop. Can you think of a new use for your old shoes?


Developed in partnership with Seven West Media Education
Media Education | Created for teachers, by teachers.


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