Make ends meet

Instead of buying another pair of fancy shoes, you should probably consider purchasing only new shoelaces. Penny-pinching? Another crisis? No, it’s an eco-awareness.

According to a study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a typical shoe has a carbon footprint of 30 pounds of CO2. In the result of high usage of raw materials and intensity of manufacturing processes, a shoe is one of the most environmentally damaging items we wear. With about 25 billion shoes sold in the world per year, the carbon footprint of the global shoe industry is close to that of the entire country of Italy.

UNDO Laces designjuntion New York carbon facts

Design and innovation studio UNDO Labs faced with this problem and created their first product to undo the damage of the shoe industry. When a client buys a pair of UNDO Laces, the company offsets the carbon footprint of a pair of shoes by purchasing carbon offset credits from wind energy, solar energy or reforestation project. UNDO Labs does this by going through third party carbon offset vendors.

If you are still wondering why someone redesigned and innovated such a simple product as a shoelace, and why you should replace yours, here you can find the answer. Besides getting an absolution for all these must-have fancy shoes you have bought so far, UNDO Laces can give your shoes a new look as often as you like. With UNDO Laces, a pain point in changing shoelaces is gone. With mini magnets installed at both ends of the shoelace and smooth mechanical twist, the product is easy to replace and practical to use. Take the old one off, the new will be in automatically. It’s that simple. Watch the movie above, the caption starting in 80th second will show you how to change a UNDO Lace in few seconds.

UNDO Laces designjuntion New York_loop

There’s one more thing. Just after you wear your shoe on and tie the shoelace, UNDO enables you to close the loop. This particular action symbolizes making any process sustainable. It’s a visual manifestation of the brands and clients purpose. And your shoelaces finally do not dangle.


Choosing the right length of UNDO Lace is simple: just count pairs of eyelets in your shoe. If there are two or three pairs of eyelets, take the shoelace with a length of 60 cm. If you counted four, five or six pairs of eyelets, your new shoelace should be 80 cm long. Otherwise buy 110 cm version.

UNDO Laces designjuntion New York metal

UNDO Labs is a New York and Istanbul-based design and innovation studio that rethinks the environmental relationship with man-made products. They redesign simple things in an innovative way and offer a carbon offset mechanism through which clients of their products can undo the environmental damage created by some of the items they use.

UNDO Laces designjuntion New York expo credits Trend Nomad
photography: Trend Nomad

The crowdfunding campaign has just started on Kickstarter. I strongly encourage you to support this project. I found and got my first pair of UNDO Laces in New York on designjunction show (15–18 of May 2015) which was the part of NYCxDESIGN festival. If you have any questions, please contact Can Özinci (, the co-founder of the company, who I met at the venue.

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