Amsterdam Metropolitan Area launches sneaker made of gum

The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area has introduced ‘Gumshoes’, sneakers with soles made of chewing gum collected from the streets of Amsterdam.

The Gumshoe was designed to raise awareness of gum waste - Photo: Publicis One

With the introduction of the shoes, the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, part of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, aims to make people more aware of the problem of gum waste that Amsterdam has been facing for years. About 1.5 million kilos of chewing gum is discarded on the streets of the Dutch capital every year. It takes 20-25 years to degrade, provoking animal suffering and an expensive removal process, costing Amsterdam millions of euros.

The gumshoe project was initiated by advertising agency Publicis One, who collaborated with specialized company Gum-Tec and the Amsterdam-based brand Explicit Wear to develop the sneaker. The sneaker has a map of Amsterdam printed on the gum sole for the people of Amsterdam to leave a mark with their footprints. In this way, the initiator hopes that people will become more aware of the issue.

Mischa Schreuder, creative director at Publicis One, said in a press release: “The surprise effect of the Gumshoe is an important success factor in this campaign. Amsterdam Metropolitan Area wants to inspire enthusiasm for the beauty that the city has to offer. Adding additional rules and restrictions to reduce the chewing gum problem would be at odds with our mission. After all, it is about the positive experience of the city. That is why we are surprising and inspiring Amsterdammers with the Gumshoe. In addition to awareness, this creates sympathy and intrinsic motivation to solve the chewing gum problem. This way we bring about much more impact.”

City Council member Marijn Bosman, added: “Amsterdam is a city to be proud of and a city that we like to keep clean. The municipality is not able to do this alone, and that is why we partner with entrepreneurs and residents. We must embrace creative initiatives such as these to keep the city clean and livable. The challenges of pollution are also an engine of innovation. Gumshoe is a good example of this and makes residents of Amsterdam aware of the chewing gum problem in our city in a creative way.”

The Gumshoe sneaker will be available from late June at Hudson’s Bay Amsterdam and via its own web store.

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