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Balena's slides biodegrade back into the earth without leaving harmful waste and chemicals

Designed in Italy with Israeli Knowhow, Startup Debuts Compostable Footwear

With the chic of Milan and the tech developed in Tel Aviv, an Israeli materials science startup has rolled out fashionable footwear made of fully compostable material, in an effort to replace polluting plastic currently used by fashion brands for clothing and shoes.

Balena’s shoes are made of 100% BioCir, a flexible biodegradable material consisting of natural ingredients bound by polymers and modifiers, which decomposes back into the earth without leaving harmful waste and chemicals.

Designed and manufactured in Italy, the Tel Aviv company in December debuted cinnamon-scented flip-flops for both men and women, selling the first thousand pairs in Tel Aviv for NIS 180 ($49) each.

Once users decide they are done wearing their shoes, they can bring them to designated flower or plant stores around Tel Aviv, where they will be taken to an industrial compost facility in the south of Israel, rather than ending up in a landfill.

Balena CEO David Roubach says the startup has debuted the world’s first fully compostable plastic fashion product made to provide an alternative to the toxic, fossil fuel-based materials used in the fashion industry. For Roubach, footwear is only the start for the potential use of biodegradable plastic in fashion, clothing and other consumer products. (TOI / VFI News)

“He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.” - Exodus 35:35