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National Runner Up

Bizù

expandable baby slippers

  • Bizù in use on an eight month old baby

  • Detailled side view of the slipper where the concave sole is clearly visible.

  • feature view

  • brainstorming session around prototypes

  • product in use

What it does

Baby feet grow very fast. In the first 6 to 18 months, the parents have to buy at least 4 new pairs of shoes. Bizù are expandable baby slippers that can accommodate different sizes. They follow the growth of the feet reducing the amount of wasted slippers.


Your inspiration

During the exploration of an innovative material, namely post-consumer recycled denim, we looked at the various possibilities in the children's and baby sector. Our eyes fell on all the waste that was created in the baby shoe sector. Since this exploration focused on a sustainable material, we also wanted to develop a product that would follow an environmental vision. Therefore, we decided that we were going to design a less wasteful option to baby shoes.


How it works

Bizù bridges the European sizes 18 to 22, this represents babies between the age of 6 to 18 months. By knitting the jeans yarn, we created an elastic and flexible fabric which is used to make Bizù. At first, the slipper fits well around the ankle by means of an elastic, while allowing a loose fit around the foot. The slightly concave sole ensure that the slipper will later be able to expand. During the first period the baby don't walk, the shoe does not have to give a lot of support yet. Then, as the foot grows, Bizù fits nicely around the ankle and over time will start to hug the foot. Finally, the knitted denim expands along as the feet growth due to its knitting pattern. The slipper's sole consists of 2 separate parts that will eventually separate and thus ensures that it grows with the baby’s foot over a period of 12 months. As this happen the sole flattens with the first steps which enlarges the length and the width of Bizù.


Design process

Around a 100 prototypes were made during the design process of Bizù, from enlargement systems to pattern, to different shapes and soles and so much more. Our first real working prototype proved our concept to be realistic but this one lacked a real overall shape. This first prototype was not safe enough for babies and the enlargement system was also not the best. After making, testing a lot of new systems we compared them. Some of those enlargement systems used the elasticity of the materials like rubber or stretch fabric, some of them were origami-like systems and other were mechanical. We contacted and learned a lot from specialists in the medical field like pediatricians, podiatrists, orthopedic pediatricians and traumatologists. They thought us about the growth of babies, their feet and what they needed. We eventually narrowed our concepts to an option that was simple in use and that would fulfill the need of the baby's feet. To improve this concept, our team got in touch with experts in the textile sector and shoemakers. With their experience we optimized the sewing patterns and the overall shape of the slipper. As a final step, Bizù was enhanced for easy manufacturing and minimal waste. This resulted in a cost-effective, production ready and sustainable product.


How it is different

Bizù is different from other slippers and shoes already on the market because it can be used longer than the competition. Bizù can be used for a period of 12 months which is four time longer than other regular shoes and slippers. The period of use is both suitable for crawling babies as well as for toddlers making their first steps. It is also different because of its sustainability. In fact, Bizù is mostly made from post-consumer recycled jeans yarns and is locally produced. Because parents don't have to buy several pairs of slippers during a whole year, they also don't have to pay the price of 4 different pairs. The price of Bizù equals the price of one pair of regular baby shoes.


Future plans

As of right now Bizù is already suitable for the market as our team has already been in touch with manufacturers and suppliers. One thing that needs to be solved is exposure to the market and to make our product known to customers. An established partner in the baby sector would help us to launch Bizù. Other things that needs to be addressed include technical details and tests that needs to be carried out and certified.


Awards


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