• Transform magazine
  • June 25, 2017

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From every street to every borough

Borough Sneakers 2.jpg

Navigating the growing trend of functional sneakers is often a test of wider industry knowledge. From materials to colours, the creative footprint of outerwear innovations has long tapped into utilitarian design. A recent collaboration takes the subject to a new plateau, capturing the future of footwear.

Working with global IT company, Cisco, and the Cranfield School of Management, London-based brand consultants, the Clearing, have put together a conceptual design, entitled ‘Borough’, that explores the future of footwear manufacturing.

According to the Clearing’s research, “88% of the world’s shoes are currently produced in large centralised factories in Asia which create long supply chains and large carbon footprints. The production process is immensely wasteful and recycling of old shoes is scarce. In Europe, footwear contributes to 1.5m tonnes of landfill each year. And in 2015 in the UK alone, we consumed 523 million pairs of shoes – an average of 8.1 pairs per person.”

The solution is a modular shoe with embedded technology, put together using 3D technology and measured to fit using scans. Borough’s construction, comprised by developing removable parts that adjust to the user’s needs, will benefit a wide range of buyers, reduce manufacturing costs and eliminate waste during production.

As the concept develops, the potential for further progression continues to grow. With the implementation of digital connectivity, proposed sensors not only trace user performance, but also track the health of the shoe, alerting when parts need replacing.

Borough’s conceptual proposition is marked by hopes of a disruptive footing in the highly competitive market. As the technology broadens, changes in consumer trends continue to define the landscape. Borough’s vision of hyper-individualised products offer a glimpse into the nearing future of utopian design.  

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