One of the latest crazes, that subsequently is becoming more of a go-to norm for manufacturing entrepreneurs, is 3D printing. Just a few short years ago this technology didn’t exist but is now creating an explosion of prototyping and beta testing while dramatically reducing product lead time. While most of us are still grappling with these tools other entrepreneurs are on to the latest and greatest—in this case 3D knitting.
In 2014 in Los Angeles, California co-founders Xiaoxi Shi and Jackie Hung formed a lifestyle brand utilizing 3D knitting. Shi is a successful product designer with plenty of awards and accolades to prove it. Hung is the entrepreneur who likewise has a solid track record in successfully launching startups, namely in the consumer products arena.
Together Shi and Hung have come to Kickstarter for the necessary capital from enthusiastic backers to make the venture real—like 3D knitted real. “We need a minimum volume to kick off production and ensure that the machine has its best efficiency,” says PR spokeswoman Amanda Bugarin. And with one week remaining in the campaign and over 150% of needed funds raised the founders have continued their streak of success.
They call it the JS Shoe and yes it is the first 3D knitted shoe. JS Shoe is entirely knitted using a cotton polyester thread apart from a small EVA polymer sole at the base (to provide traction and reduce wear-and-tear). Because of this the shoe is light—extremely light—under 130 grams each light. The knitted body provides lots of breathability and keeps your feet dry without a sock.
'These light-weight designs marry comfort and style, perfect for the active lifestyle of the urban resident who spends equal time in the car and exploring outside,” Burgarin explains.
The JS Shoe Classic Style has a blue-gray body with one of four color accents (azure, magenta, teal, or yellow). Also available is the Jett-Setter Black and the Special Edition Rainbow for Kickstarter. JS Shoe offers (and somewhat encourages) mixing and matching shoes even allowing shoes to be purchased in singles for those who want that third or fifth shoe to shake up the color scheme.
Because of this mix-and-match approach JS Shoe has redesigned its packaging, shipping each shoe in a cylinder marked either “L” for left or “R” for right. This gives the brand an impressive look and feel from package to usage.
Leveraging 3D knitting JS Shoe is able to produce product with far less waste and energy usage when compared with traditional manufacturers. This is not just a tangential benefit but a sought after ideal that many consumers are voting for with their dollars—social responsibility. This is especially true in the urban fashionista demographic where we think JS Shoe fits nicely.
Amanda Bugarin commented, “we are hoping to change the way shoes are created. We hope to expand our line in the future as well”.
POP on a pair of JS Shoes. Check out the campaign and let me know what you think about this concept in the comments below.
JS Shoe’s Kickstarter Campaign Page
JS Shoe’s Website