The Virgin Collection by OAT


OAT shoes by OAT

Dutch company OAT have designed a range of biodegradable shoes with seeds embedded in the tongues. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.

OAT shoes by OAT

Top photograph is by Corriette Schoenaerts.

Called The Virgin Collection, the shoes can be discarded by burying them in the ground, where they completely decompose and a bouquet of wild flowers grows to mark the place.

OAT shoes by OAT

The collection of trainers for men and women was launched at Amsterdam International Fashion Week last month.

OAT shoes by OAT

Above photographs are by Peter Stigter. Product photos are by Marielle van Leewen.

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Here's some more information from OAT:

Sneaker grows plant: OAT Shoes win at Fashion Awards

Dutch innovation at its best: Amsterdam based OAT wins at the Amsterdam International Fashion Week 2011 (AIFW 2011) with a collection of fully biodegradable sneakers. Sneakers that grow flowers when you plant them in the ground.

OAT shoes by OAT

OAT, a young innovative company founded two years ago by designer Christiaan Maats, presented the fresh Virgin Collection at the Green Fashion Competition of the AIFW 2011. The show featured the sneaker planted in a white wheelbarrow pushed forward by a scantily clad Adam and Eve. 'SAved from the garden of Eden' was the theme of the show, building on the idea of a sneaker collection made of 'all the good stuff mother earth has to offer'.

OAT shoes by OAT

'To us it's logical', OAT explains. 'It makes fashion seen to make products that are part of the planet we party on. We all like the nice bits in fashion, so why not make those bits fully biodegradable? You can call it a vintage-killer, but you leave something much better behind: A tree, flowers or even a cotton plant that provides you with your new shirt.'

OAT shoes by OAT

OAT spent two years in search of the best materials and kept a strong focus on clean design. OAT: 'The challenge was to make a sneaker that's got a fresh style, with materials that break down when you bury them. There were no real alternatives on the market, so we had to develop and source our own materials and processes.'

OAT shoes by OAT

The Virgin Collection carries shoes for men, women and a unisex pair for those who don't mind sharing. All models embrace natural shades, fine classic lines and popping spring colours. The soft canvas makes the sneakers breathable and the flexible sole ensures a comfortable fit. They'll be available in several European stores by spring 2011.

See also:


Woodwalk by
Paul Coudamy
Lolice shoes by
Belma Arnautović
Bread Shoes by
R&E Praspaliauskas

Dezeen Book of Ideas out now!

OAT is included in our book, Dezeen Book of Ideas. Buy it now for just £12.

Posted on Sunday February 6th 2011 at 12:15 am by Catherine Warmann. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Vincent#1

    Biodegradeable sneakers, sounds cool and they look good saleable.

    One thing, does the text not make clear, how/if they managed to make the sole diodegradeable, while it doen't decompose when in use. This must be a hard one because the sole is naturally in constant contact with moisture and rough surfaces.

    It makes me worry for the lifespan of the shoes, but then again, they are still cool.

    • kisabel3825

      it has to do with microbes, it will only biodegrade once it is surrounded my the correct circumstances. Paper doesnt biodegrade on a desk right? but it does on the ground…

  • felix

    I love high tops but those look so clumpy, urgh. The rest are very nice though, and beautiful execution of the brand.

    It's a pity that a company breaking new ground environmentally can't also break away from the old trope of sex sells.

  • john

    I Actually think it's good they aren't presentin themselves in the typical incense way…
    or geitenwollensokken as we say in Dutch..

  • kantjil


    Great concept and sweet presentation (tree in sneaker :-)
    Will look out for these bad boys to hit the market..

    Goed werk jongens!

  • Eva


  • jess

    what… where's the proof that they are biodegradable?? i'll believe it when i see one of these trainers that's been worn for a year decompose naturally in a reasonable timespan… that would be very cool, but i ain't seen no proof yet.