There are probably at least four pairs of shoes in your closet right now. Consider yourself lucky, because more than 300 million people in developing nations do not even own one pair.
The team behind Unifold is hoping to change that in the near future. Conceptualized by Pratt Institute students Haratio Yuxin Han and Kevin Crowley, Unifold is a shoe made from one piece of recyclable material that takes shape by folding over the cut-out pattern.
Affordable and easy to construct, Unifold could solve the world-wide shoe shortage crisis.
Made from foam rubber material ethylene vinyl acetate, Unifold shoes reduce complicated procedures required in footwear productions, such as molding, lacing, sewing and gluing. The simple design of Unifold makes it easier to manufacture while dramatically lowering costs.
In fact, Unifold could possibly take the production process out of the picture — Han’s shoe model could be downloaded and then printed out. You simply cut and fold a sheet of foam rubber, following the proper design pattern.
Currently, Unifold is still in the preliminary stages, but Han and team are working hard to bring Unifold shoes to the market. There are two patterns of Unifolds: an Asian-style slipper and a more intricately detailed sandal.