For all eco-conscious runners out there here is a fantastic invention that will help keep your hard-worn sneakers odor-free. Introducing Wool Runners, strong shoe upper designs created from a playful hybrid of lambs wool by the team at Three over Seven. Two brothers from New Zealand decided to turn their inherited knowledge of wool into these amazing designs that are long lasting, biodegradable, and sustainably sourced. And so now everyday athletes can comfortably set their pace sock-free!

These ecopfriendly shoes are designed to control odor, regulate temperature, repel water or moisture, and resist stains and dirt, while also being machine washable. And above all this, they are largely made from a sustainable resource! But this incredible invention was no easy feat. Over the past two years the team has worked with textile institute AgResearch (with the help of a national grant) to engineer their own fabric that is both comfortable and durable. The core fabric remains based on the natural, renewable and biodegradable benefits offered by wool, which has a high concentration of fatty acids that have anti-bacterial properties so it does not retain odors.

Three Over Seven’s Tim Brown told Ecouterre that wool – an eco textile and the core component of the fabric – is both a sustainable resource and a biodegradable one. But right now the shoe is not entirely environmentally friendly, and he says that they have a long way to go. “Ultimately one of our aims is to create a completely biodegradable version of our fabric (which is currently reinforced by a synthetic material),” he says. “Overall, the footwear industry is not great from a sustainability point of view. With around 230 billion pairs of shoes sold every year, and 95% of footwear ending up in landfills, we feel there is certainly a problem to solve in this space.”

As a result of these eco-sensitive objectives, Wool Runners have had an overwhelming response on Kickstarter: within five days they had over 1000 orders! As a result they cut their campaign short and decided that was enough for the time being. So keep an eye out for more from Three Over Seven and Wool Runners near you.

The Wool Runners on Kickstarter

+ Three Over Seven