Disrupters, start-ups, inventors, designers. Every so often, someone comes along with a game-changing thought, idea or vision with the will and desire to make it a reality. The world of footwear is no different, with creators all trying to leave their mark on an industry that can be both very financially rewarding and pivotal to human evolution. Something we love is that beneath the top layer of the most well known footwear brands and innovators, is a whole world of start-ups looking to bring something new, exciting and beneficial to the table. Here are some we are most fascinated by:
“ordinary shoes are for ordinary people and you are anything but ordinary” is the opening line to Ren’s ‘about’ video. These are no ordinary shoe, and no ordinary founders. Born in Helsinki, Finland, Rens started after a conversation between two footwear enthusiasts about the environmental impacts of the global sneaker industry and the less-than-stylish sustainable options on the market. Since that conversation, the first sneakers made from coffee, yes that’s right, coffee, and recycled plastic were made. They are also waterproof and look pretty awesome. Check them out here.
If there is one thing VivoBarefoot understand, it’s the link our feet have to our overall health and connection to the earth. All of their footwear is created to be wide, thin and flexible: the closest you can come to being barefooted in a shoe. They promote your foot’s natural strength and movement. Allowing you to feel the ground beneath your feet. The company is making a real push to tackle the sustainability crisis in the industry and has a whole host of incredible science to back up the benefits of it’s products and business for good, so check them out.
The Converse Renew project is Converse’s commitment to design towards a waste-less future. We all remember and are familiar with the Chuck Taylore All-Star, well now it’s had a sustainable make over. With outsoles made with about 12% recycled rubber scraps from the footwear manufacturing process and 100% recycled polyester laces, you’ll be walking on-point knowing your environmental footprint just got smaller.
This shoe joins Rens on a list of shoes made from things that grow. The Reebok NPC has a 100% cotton upper section and a ‘biobased sole’ created from corn grown in the ground. This combination makes this shoe the first ever 75% USDA certified bio-based shoe so that can feel good about wearing. Find out more about the process here.
This brand comes from the Swiss Alps with one mission: to revolutionize the sensation of running by giving you soft landings followed by explosive take-offs. In 10 years this company has gone from being an idea, to on the feet of over 7 million runners worldwide. We didn’t added this shoe to our list because of any such fascinating sustainability point, but because of their incredible soles. Inspired by the shape and structure of clouds, the ‘CloudTec’ in these shoes reduces muscle fatigue and lower heart rates, ideal for any runner out there. Read on here.