Each of our shoes averages between 60 and 100 individual pieces - and that's for a single shoe, not even per pair! So when we talk about sustainable materials and components, we are looking to reinvent our shoes from the inside out. Below we highlight just some of the main materials and components we use in our collections.
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Materials and Components
Plant-based, bio-based, renewable, recycled,
and organic vegan materials and components.
Apple Leather - from Organic Apple Waste
Apple Leather is a bio-based leather alternative made using organic apple waste originating in Tyrol, a town nestled at the base of the Italian Alps. Tyrol is the largest supplier of organic apples in Europe and every year is faced with a significant amount of waste. The cores and skins of the apple waste are taken and transformed into a pulp, which is then bound to a fabric for structure. The result is a ‘leather’ imitative material that structurally holds many of the same properties as a traditional animal leather while remaining completely animal-free.
Vegan Linings - Bio-Based from Wheat and Barley Byproduct
Linings aren't always seen as the most exciting component of the shoe, but they are one of the most important! As the first point of contact with the skin, the material must be breathable, able to wick away moisture, and should be soft to the touch. While leather naturally is a great candidate for the properties needed for linings, the trick for finding a non-virgin plastic vegan option proved difficult until we sourced this groundbreaking material. Made from natural, renewable resources, polyols, or plant-based molecules, are taken from corn, grain, and seeds to comprise a non-petroleum and performance based leather alternative.
Coconut Husk Insoles
Highly renewable, and naturally antimicrobial, coconut husks are a fantastic natural resource that can be used to create a completely natural and chemical free insole. The coconut husk fibers are also great for insulating both hot and cold temperatures, and remain breathable while also being durable.
Vegan Nappa - 100% Recycled
Our Vegan Nappa is made from 100% recycled fibers. While standard vegan leathers are typically made using virgin plastics coupled with harmful chemical processes, our Vegan Nappa is made without any virgin plastics and using a water-based manufacturing process. Contrary to its name, this water-based process still uses 95% less water than the standard chemical process. Energy consumption is also reduced in this process by roughly 55%.
Recycled Soles - from Closed-Loop Recycled Rubber
Our Italian sole factory makes their standard rubber soles by cutting multiple pieces from large sheets of rubber. This creates a large amount of "off-cut" waste, resulting from the irregular shape of each sole. This waste is then melted down and reused to create the regenerated rubber soles you see here. Rubber soles also allow for excellent traction and have natural non-slip properties.
Recycled Heels - from Closed-Loop Recycled Plastic
We all know that plastic is one of the enemies of the sustainable world - but it has long been used in shoe production because of its strength. Supporting the weight of the full body and taking the majority of the impact, heels are structurally one of the most important parts of the shoe. While certain woods and natural materials can be used, there are height and width limitations. Our heel factories use a closed-loop- system.
Closed-loop Recycled Shoe Lasts
Shoe lasts are the foot-shaped form a factory uses to mold and construct a shoe. They determine the fit and shape of each shoe, and a separate last must be used for each different size and style of shoe that is manufactured. Typically made with plastics that are durable enough to withstand the shoemaking process, our factories utilize a closed-loop system of last creation. This means that after one of our lasts has been used in production, it’s melted down to be reformed into a new last, a continual process that recycles old materials and avoids the introduction of virgin plastics.