For between $14,800 and $16,200 depending on your shoe size and the complexity of the pattern, you can grow your own sting ray, harvest it and create a neat pair of sneakers. But the best bit is still to come. You get to design the pattern expressed on the sting rays flesh. A real sting ray. By identifying the genes responsible for patterns and colours in other sting rays, the people at ray fish foot wear are able to ‘implant the synthetic supergene cluster into fetal rays before they are born.’ and ‘As the ray grows and matures, it expresses the predetermined patterns on it’s skin’. Woah!
In reference to Ray Fish’s stock of sting rays, the brand states that ‘first came mass production, then mass customization. Rayfish footwear harnesses the beauty and variety of nature to create the world’s first truly custom sneaker. One fish, one shoe.’
The ethical considerations are difficult for most to swallow, but is it really that different to the genetic selection that has been occurring in herds of domestic animals for hundreds of years? Probably not. The change is just a lot more immediate. And a lot more apparent. But if you were to ask climate scientists ‘Should I buy the stingray or the leather?’ the answer would undoubtedly be the stingray every time.
- Scientists Are Manipulating Stingray DNA To Make $2000 Sneakers (thegloss.com)
- Do We Really Need $15,000 Genetically Engineered Stingray Shoes? (treehugger.com)