Reject the leather shoe, no longer are you going to wear a dead cow when you see what vegan & sustainable beauties fit your feet today. Welcome to eco-vegan-shoe paradise where creativity & audacity is king !
What started as a humble fashion idea uniting three friends, – to launch an online sneakers brand that would plant trees for each sale – soon became the most funded Spanish fashion project ever on Kickstarter. Then over the next 20 months the project grew on a different platform to reach its actual size of 8 employees. In December 2019 they became a fully grown e-commerce under the brand name SAYE. Saye stands for :
- A zero-waste brand, using in as many recycled materials as possible.Fight for fair workforce conditions, producing the sneakers carefully in the EU.Fight against deforestation, planting 2 trees for each sale.
Sustainability in the Workforce
87% OF THE WORLD OF FOOTWEAR IS MANUFACTURED IN ASIA OR IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, WHICH IS LINKED TO LABOR EXPLOITATION THROUGH CHEAP WORKFORCE.
THERE, WORKERS RIGHTS ARE LIMITED OR NONEXISTENT.
USUALLY THEY HAVE INTERMINABLE WORK SHIFTS, PRECARIOUS SALARIES AND SCARCE SECURITY IN THEIR FACTORIES.
Saye wanted to partner with suppliers that respect their workers, improving their life conditions and providing them a good working environment; a factory where employment is freely chosen and where child labor is not used in any case.
They found their ideal partner, not in Spain but in Portugal. Located in the North of Portugal, Felgueiras is the heart of the country’s footwear industry. Saye’s partner, You Shoes, is made up of artisans that really love the work they do. They have been maintaining a high standard of ethics -fair wages and shifts, gender equality- from the beginning. Most importantly, they treat their workers as family.
Saye’s suppliers are encouraged to increase transparency. Only ocal materials are used in the production, reducing the carbon footprint. Saye also works with suppliers from Alicante, Spain. The concentration of their manufacturing suppliers within the same geographical area allows them to create an efficient and fast collaborating network which ensures the use of local materials and reduces our carbon footprint.
Socks & Sneakers – Materials
For the production of the sneakers not just vegan but recycled materials are used.
RECYCLED VEGAN NAPA
Vegan Napa contains 35% recycled post-consumer fibers (RPET), made of discarded garments and different reintroduced PET articles. It is a Global Recycled Standard (GRS) product, manufactured in Spain.
GRS is an international standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices, and chemical restrictions.
The rest of the Vegan Napa is made of 11% Polyester and 54% Polyurethane, which is a high-quality PU (HIGH SOLID) and free of DMF’s (dimethyl formaldehyde), a substance that can occur in liver damage for long exposed workers if it gets absorbed by the skin.
From the upper, to the lining, the outsole, the insole and the laces and last but not least the reinforcements, every part of the Saye sneaker is made or recycled or organic, vegan material.
It’s not just a green sneaker, the packaging goes hand-in-hand.
Saye uses 100% recycled boxes and paper manufactured in Portugal with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certifications.
And since cool sneakers belong in cool stores, you can find them in 7 countries. Every order which includes a pair of shoes = sneakers is shipped worldwide for free. So don’t forget to pack a pair of organic cotton socks as well.
VIVAIA a name with a meaning
With a focus on creating a positive impact on both the world and the people around us, VIVAIA successfully created a line of luxurious and fashion-forward footwear with exceptional quality and at a fair price.
The name VIVAIA was born from these ideas – the ideas that customers and company’s purpose make up VIVAIA’s true identity. The double ‘V’ and ‘A’ symbolize the shoes worn by the customers, with designs coming from opposite directions.
The double ‘I’ represents the plastic bottles used in producing the shoes. Therefore, the VIVAIA brand name is designed to signify the combination of products, customers and the environmentally-friendly positioning and production methods.
6 PLASTIC BOTTLES FOR EACH PAIR OF SHOES
Plastic Water Bottles
Recycled materials obtained from plastic water bottles, turning them into spools of thread to knit the surface material for the shoes, creating a signature sustainable material that will last for years to come
The insoles are crafted using soft natural latex foam derived from rubber resin for everyday comfort and a lightweight feel on the foot. Slip on a pair and you’ll never want to take them off again.
Carbon-free Rubber Outsoles
The soles are created using carbon-free rubber for a highly elastic and flexible feel that is shock-resistant, fungi-proof and odor-resistant.
You love your shoes fresh out of the box, but sometimes life can get messy. Never fear – each and every pair of VIVAIA shoes are fully machine and hand washable!
All the packaging is created using 90% recycled cardboard.
SUSTAINABLE, STYLISH. STRAIGHT TO YOU.
By shipping THEIR footwear direct to you, the customer, they reduce intermediate costs that come with selling through retailers. This means that they can pass along the savings to you, ensuring that all of Vivaia’s footwear is a fair price while maintaining a high quality.
VIVAIA FLATS come in two models, the Aria and the Vienna and currently sell for 99 USD ( instead of 160 ).
Worldwide shipping is free.
Adidas & Sustainability
Addidas has declared the war on plastic. Rightfully so, they see plastic today as a problem tomorrow. As they continue to address their overall carbon footprint, Adidas is shifting to using 100% recycled polyester in their products by 2024.
This is bigger than sports, this is for our future!
I honestly did not know till I started writing this article that Stella McCartney is the fashion industry’s leading vegan designer. She was doing animal-cruelty-free clothing and accessories way before it was “cool”—back in 2001!—and she just keeps getting better.
Her platform oxfords are still a hit, and she’s got tons of sneaker options in her Adidas by Stella McCartney line. Her collections for the sports brand include several pairs of running shoes made with recycled yarns.
Sustainable materials and innovation go perfectly well together in the world of McCartney. Using cashmere, fibers from forests, fur-free-fur, metals, organic cotton, recycled nylon and polyester, silk, vegetarian leather and wool make up the menu.
From the beginning till the end even the stores are eco-friendly.
Adidas & Allbirds
Adidas announced it is going to partner with Allbirds, New Zealand to develop a sport performance shoe with the lowest ever carbon footprint.
Allbirds, New Zealand
Allbirds seeks out businesses who share their opinions on natural ingredients, sustainable practices, and a love of all things color.
In Sydney they partnered with local businesses now wearing Allbirds shoes. In Brazil, they partnered with fellow naturalists JUST to design some Limited Edition Tree Toppers and Tree Runners. And the best part—they donated 100% of the proceeds to Earth Alliance’s Amazon Forest Fund to support wildlife relief.
For Air New Zealand, they created the thoughtfully designed Bird Mask. Using premium natural materials, it’s tailor-made to solve all the comfort and sustainability problems of traditional nap aids.
For one day only, Allbirds set up shop at the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. There, they created an art installation and offered a pretty sweet deal: one-of-a-kind Shake Shack Tree Runners, a custom limited edition lace kit, and a Hokey Pokey milkshake, inspired by the flavors of New Zealand.
A special shoe for for New York’s Biggest Burger Fans !
Then they teamed up with Outdoor Voices to launch a special collection of head-to-toe essentials.
In L.A. they teamed up with P.F. Candle Co, a home fragrance company. Their domestically-grown soy wax candles are all hand-poured and hand-packaged. They designed shoes for Jewish Deli Wexler’s and BOYCE design studio.
Beer, chocolate and coffee & Allbirds go hand-in-hand in their collaboration with three local Wellington vendors:
Wellington Chocolate Factory, alias WCF
And San Francisco got a whole deal greener with the guys at ‘Craftsman and Wolves’, ‘Smitten’ & ‘Ampersand’ on Allbirds Sneakers!
Oh, did I forget to mention why Allbirds in the first place? Well then, they measure the emissions of everything from their raw materials to their end of life. Next, they reduce their impact by incorporating things like natural and recycled materials. And finally, they offset the little bit that’s left with carbon offsets, making Allbirds a completely carbon neutral business.
But their goal is bigger—emit no carbon in the first place. Their motto: “We can create a sustainable future, but only if we hold each other accountable.”
“Sustainability shouldn’t be a problem! Look at it as an opportunity! One that comes once in a lifetime. Cause the time to change our consumption habits was yesterday, is today, not tomorrow!”