News Business & Policy This Cool 4-in-1 Shoe Means Less Clutter, Less Waste The All-Dai is vegan, plant-based, multipurpose. You can take it anywhere. By Katherine Martinko Senior Writer University of Toronto Katherine Martinko is a writer and expert in sustainable living. She holds a degree in English Literature and History from the University of Toronto. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Katherine Martinko Published June 28, 2021 09:18AM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checker Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a writer, fact checker, and conservationist with a certification in sustainability. Our Fact-Checking Process Article fact-checked on Jun 28, 2021 Haley Mast All-Dai shoe in 'natural' color. MUNJOI Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices Did you know that nearly 70 million pairs of shoes are manufactured every day? Eventually, there comes a point when those shoes must be discarded, and they'll pile up in landfills around the world, lingering for centuries until the tough synthetic materials they're made of eventually break down. It's not a good system, to say the least. We need better designed footwear that's kinder to the planet, but we also need less of it. Not only would this reduce the chaos in our closets (no more gigantic shoe pile), but it would reduce the demand for resources to make them. Shoes should be something we design more thoughtfully, to be more versatile, and that we can wear for longer. Fortunately, one person has given this plenty of thought. Patrick Hogan is a footwear designer from Newburyport, Massachusetts, formerly employed by major brands like Saucony and New Balance, who has embarked on his own entrepreneurial project. Under the name of a new brand, MUNJOI, Hogan recently launched a clever 4-in-1 shoe called the All-Dai. Hogan said he was inspired to change career paths by a desire to do more for the planet. From a press release: "As a footwear designer I could walk outside on any given day and count the number of shoes that I’ve designed on the feet of people walking by. I realized that I was playing a pretty big role in the process, and I should be using my talents to do a better job at helping combat pollution." All-Dai shoes in two styles. MUNJOI The All-Dai is an attempt to do precisely that. Its convertible design means you can buy fewer pairs of shoes because a single one does it all. It can be worn as a sneaker, a backless mule, a sandal slide, or an open-toe sneaker. It is easily converted by removing the insole and folding down whatever components of the shoe you want to tuck away; putting the insole back secures the new style in place. Hogan tells Treehugger the design is utilitarian and simple. "The All-Dai is stripped down to the bare essentials of only what is needed and nothing more," he says. "My goal was to not overdesign or embellish with any extra unnecessary bells and whistles." He focused on reducing material waste, as well. "Traditionally, pattern pieces have been cut or stamped out of long rolls of material which leaves a lot of discarded waste (sort of like a cookie cutter)," says Hogan. "Our entire upper is machine knitted to the almost exact shape of each piece, leaving very little waste at all." The shoe is vegan and made from plant-based materials. The comfortable bottom combines BLOOM foam, collected from algae waste, with sugarcane, an alternative to traditional petroleum-based EVA. The breathable knitted upper is a blend of hemp, cotton, and a small amount of spandex for stretch. Hemp is a strong, durable fiber with antibacterial properties that becomes softer when combined with cotton. It's machine-washable, lightweight, and compact for travel packing. The shoe's carbon footprint measures 12.9 pounds (5.87 kilograms) carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), and this is offset through a carbon project to make the shoe climate neutral. For comparison, Allbirds' Tree Loungers have a footprint of 16.53 pounds (7.5 kg) CO2e and the acclaimed Futurecraft prototype, made by an adidas x Allbirds partnership, is said to be the shoe with the lowest carbon footprint ever, measuring 6.48 pounds (2.94 kg) CO2e. When quizzed about the practicality of multipurpose footwear, Hogan cites the American Apparel and Footwear Association, which said Americans buy an average of 7.5 pairs of shoes annually. "Our closets are full of all different types of footwear to meet all of our different types of functional and aesthetic needs/wants," Hogan tells Treehugger. "MUNJOI is giving consumers an option to purchase less footwear. Instead of needing to buy one new sneaker + one new mule + one new sandal this year, we are presenting consumers with an alternative option: Buy one shoe that serves the function of three or four." Furthermore, the All-Dai was designed to be trendless. "Trends are constantly changing and many consumers will wear something for only a brief season or period of time before discarding it (or just leaving it in the closet graveyard) and then quickly moving on to the next trend or update," he says. "I think it would be a great thing if we would all wear our shoes until they couldn't be worn anymore before buying that next shoe." All-Dai shoe in 'sedona' color. MUNJOI The brand does not yet have an end-of-life disposal strategy, but Hogan says the company is looking into that. "One day we hope that you will be able to bury your MUNJOI shoes in your back yard and a tree will grow—but we are not there yet." The best option, he said, is always to wear the sneakers that you currently have—or to simply wear none at all and go barefoot. MUNJOI's goal is to be the next best option. Check out the All-Dai here, available in three colors (Black Sea, Sedona, Natural) and a wide range of full- and half-sizes. It retails for $98 with free U.S. shipping.