Although heading out back for a zesty gardening session is the last thing on many folks’ minds right about now, here’s a general question: what do you have growing in the ground in your backyard? A plot of veggies? A couple of fruit trees? A bed of colorful perennials? A perfectly manicured row of native shrubbery? A pair of old sneakers?

After a couple of years in development, eco-friendly Dutch footwear company OAT has released a new, limited edition collection of fashionable, practical sneakers that are completely biodegradable, placing less of a burden on landfills when you wear them out and chuck ‘em in the trash. But wait … you aren’t supposed to throw these old sneaks away. The six different styles of trainers that comprise OAT’s Virgin Collection are to be buried in your backyard or another natural area. Say what?

Here's the thing: The lining in the shoes are embedded with tree seeds so once you bury your moldy old shoes deep in the soil, the shoes will return to the earth and a sapling will (hopefully) emerge.

Brilliant. OAT’s Virgin Collection took home second prize in the Green Fashion competition at last week’s Amsterdam International Fashion Week (I’m guessing the semi-nude “Adam and Eve” models strutting down the runway didn’t hurt). No word if this tree-sprouting, limited-edition sneaker will every make its way to U.S. shoe stores and garden centers anytime soon.

Via [TrendHunter]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

OAT shoes: Green kicks for Johnny Sneakerseed
From eco-friendly Dutch footwear company OAT comes the Virgin Collection, a line of 'plantable' sneakers that biodegrade and sprout greenery in your backyard.