Nike, Puma in Talks to Develop Bio-Leather Shoes from Chicken Feathers

Eco-leather Corp. is collaborating with Nike and Puma on developing an athletic shoe made out of non-toxic materials, Fast Company reports.

Eco-leather is the brainchild of University of Delaware chemist Richard Wool, who makes bio-based leather using techniques developed by aerospace engineers to turn chicken feathers, combined with natural fibers and plant oil resins, into shoe soles. Wool has also developed a bio-based foam that can replace petroleum-based polyurethane, Fast Company says.

The company’s goal is to produce alternatives to the leather production process, which, according to the nonprofit Blacksmith Institute, is a top toxic threat, using cancer-causing chemicals and toxic heavy metals including chromium.

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