Paige Ihaka MiniMix

  • Tauira / Student
    Paige Ihaka
  • Kaiako / Lecturer
    Anke Nienhuis

MiniMix children's shoes promote sustainability through innovative design which maximises the efficient use of materials. With a strong focus on addressing the environmental impact of consumer products, MiniMix aims to challenge the issue of waste associated with rapidly growing children’s footwear.

Typically, children’s shoes have an average lifespan of only four months before they are discarded due to wear and tear or being outgrown. To save money, parents often opt for larger sizes, compromising user comfort and leading to potential health issues such as biomechanical imbalances, foot problems, and an increased risk of falls.

MiniMix overcomes these challenges by introducing a unique approach to shoe design, separating the sole from the rest of the shoe. This allows for upsizing and replacing components as children outgrow or wear down the shoes, eliminating the need for unnecessary disposal and ensuring the materials are utilised to their fullest potential. This alternative modular design approach reduces expenses associated with purchasing new shoes and limits material wastage while promoting healthy foot development.

When the shoes require replacement, the product can be returned directly to the store. The brand then separates parts and re-uses or recycles them accordingly. Materials used in Minimix shoes include a polyester knit mesh made from recycled fibres, polyester attachments for secure sole-shoe connections, mycelium leather for durability, cork to cushion and insulate against temperatures, and natural rubber for the sole. All of these materials can be recycled to create new shoes or soles. This approach encourages consumers to participate in recycling used materials and emphasises the manufacturers' responsibility to minimise landfill waste outputs.

Key design features of MiniMix shoes include a convenient user-friendly sock design eliminating the need to tie laces. A robust adhesion system between the sole and the shoe, vibrant customisable soles for children, and reliable grips to ensure strength and stability during daily activities.