Vivobarefoot Revolutionizes Shoes With Ergonomic 3-D Printed Footwear


The new trend of ‘bare footwear’ is stepping up, and Vivobarefoot has promoted the most naturally formed shoe for your foot. With a collaboration between Vivobarefoot and Balena, a material science company, Vivobarefoot is breaking ground in sustainability and regenerative ‘bare footwear’. With traditional sneakerheads clamming for pairs on second-hand markets, Vivobarefoot focuses on the health of everyone who wears shoes.

Vivobarefoot, a B Corp, believes in reconnecting people with the natural world through human potential, emphasizing barefoot design principles for optimal foot health. Founded by cousins Galahad and Asher Clark, Vivobarefoot’s commitment to step away from the pointed-toe designs of shoes extends to becoming a net-positive business for human and planetary health.

“About 4 years ago, I heard Asher on stage with his amazing vision for VivoBiome, and it was clear to me that to enable consumer product companies to achieve true sustainability, there is a need to advocate for a clearer circular economy model with a fundamental change in the materials we use, and that’s what Balena is all about,” says David Roubach Founder of Balena. “Seeing that collaboration become a reality fills me with immense pride.”

This innovative partnership aims to introduce 3D-printed and made-to-measure footwear that is fully compostable, forging a path toward a new era of responsible and environmentally friendly shoe production. The shared vision of Vivobarefoot and Balena revolves around challenging the existing norms in the footwear industry.

With a new VivoBiome system by Vivobarefoot, derived from the term “biomimetic,” the footwear innovator introduces a revolutionary scan-to-print circular bare-footwear system. It redefines footwear creation processes, emphasizing sustainability and a circular model.

Central to this vision is Balena’s proprietary BioCirflex, a compostable, biobased, recyclable, thermoplastic material designed for both durability and high performance. The objective is to create a footwear ecosystem that is made-to-order and made-to-measure, produced locally and with minimal environmental impact.

Balena’s BioCirflex is an advanced, flexible, fully compostable, and recyclable thermoplastic elastomer, the proprietary material in this collaboration. Designed to replace conventional fossil fuel-based materials, BioCirflex ensures a sustainable end-of-life process through controlled biodegradation in industrial compost facilities. Additionally, BioCirflex3D opens novelty in 3D printing, providing flexibility similar to traditional materials that are compostable, reducing the environmental impact of discarded prints.

The VivoBiome system offers a revolutionary way to produce footwear. It leverages a patented scan-to-print computational design system, enabling the creation of on-demand, made-to-measure footwear for individuals rather than mass markets. The core principles include making bespoke, locally manufactured footwear designed for circularity. This ensures materials are upcycled at the end of their lifecycle.

“Our goal at Vivobarefoot is to develop performance footwear that is both durable and fully compostable,” said the Vivobarefoot Co-Founder and Design Director, Asher Clark, V. “This first-of-its-kind collaboration moves us a step closer to that goal, giving us the ability to make product design and development decisions based on science, which we’ve never been able to do before.”

Vivobarefoot’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its product offerings. As a certified B Corp, the company is dedicated to becoming a regenerative business, prioritizing both people and the planet. By partnering with Balena, a material science company focused on creating circular models for durable goods, the collaboration aligns with the global efforts to reduce waste and pollution.

Vivobarefoot offers VivoHealth, featuring courses guided by natural health experts. Initiatives like ReVivo, a secondary market for reconditioned footwear, and the Livebarefoot Fund, an impact hub for innovation and advocacy, showcase their dedication to sustainability. The “Unfinished Business” report details their journey towards creating a regenerative business.

The Vivobarefoot and Balena partnership signifies a monumental leap toward a sustainable and regenerative future for footwear. The introduction of the VivoBiome system and the utilization of BioCir®flex showcase a commitment to reimagining the footwear industry, emphasizing responsible practices and innovative materials. As the world embraces a circular approach to consumption, this collaboration paves the way for a new era in footwear design and manufacturing, where sustainability and style seamlessly converge.


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