Sustainable Shoe Manufacturing for Oaxaca

The goal of this project is to provide DAVA with a preliminary design and manufacturing analysis for a sustainable shoe sole, by utilizing a mesquite byproduct found in their local ecosystem.

They are working to test combinations of biodegradable and non-biodegradable binders and raw materials while developing a robust and sustainable value chain. They are working to measure equal or better performance, durability, and aesthetics in comparison to Dava’s current shoe line.

The goal is to create a sustainable alternative to rubber and increase revenue through sales to the rapidly growing eco-friendly/environment-conscious consumer base in Mexico and globally.




shoe assembly sketch

MIT D-Lab class

Gender and Development

Student team

MIT students unless otherwise noted.

  • Hasaam Ali - G -Integrated Design Management
  • Jomi Kramer - G -Leaders for Global Operations
  • Chiwon Lee - G- Integrated Design Management
  • Trevor Ching - Yr 3 - Mechanical Engineering
  • Diane Heinle - Yr 3 - Mechanical Engineering w/ Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Robyn Richmond - G - Mechanical Engineering

Community partners

Tejiendo Alianzas: Incubation and acceleration of productive projects to become sustainable community micro-enterprises that generate local rural indigenous communities ...while local traditions and cultures flourish.

  • Richard Hanson, founder of Tejiendo Alianzas

Dava Artisanal shoes


Richard Hanson