Our inspiration came from a trip to a beach in Boothbay, Maine last summer. We were walking on a small secluded beach and noticed that the footsteps we were making were glowing. Suddenly the thought occurred -- could this phenomenon be integrated into a fashionable item that was both aesthetically appealing, and fascinating from a scientific perspective?
We realized that the movement of feet when one walks is comparable to the motion of a lapping wave, creating an ideal atmosphere for these organisms to glow.
"Fashion is socially, economically, and environmentally significant. As a material form of expression, fashion apparel is important to our personal and social relationships, linked to how we live and see ourselves within society." -April S. McGrath
BIOST3P Shoes all have a detachable sole. These soles are the homes of the dinoflagellate that will live in each pair. These soles come in a variety of shapes and can be fitted with a number of stylish uppers.
BIOST3P Shoes will use a dinoflagellate called Pyrocystis lunula, a photosynthetic species. This means that like plants, they use sunlight to make their own energy. Wearing these shoes during the day allows them to produce the necessary energy to bioluminesce at night. As an alternative, one can place their BIOST3P soles near a sunny windowsill.
Our bioluminescent footwear is more than fashion, it is a product that advocates for a connection that has never been offered via the world of fashion. Each year American consumers purchase over 26 million pairs of shoes. That averages out 7.5 pairs a person. Perhaps this is a result of how dispensable we think of our wardrobe as is evidenced by the rapid growth of fast fashion.
We have designed a garment that fosters an emotional attachment to the garment by adding a living component to it. This inter-species relationship between the wearer and a special organism that lives in the soles of these shoes requires tender love and care. Although some people out there will argue that our wardrobe should require little thought in terms of its biological longevity, we believe that integrating living organisms into a fashion product promotes a bio-synchronized mindset, one that hopes to inspire appreciation of the aesthetic wonders of the natural world.