Hey, you found us. Thank you! We were told nobody reads this, keep it short. You’re one of the few, who sifted through the thick fog of brand clutter and made it here. You ditched the proverbial herd. We want to share our experience with you.
Independent, small batch production.
Minimal, honest materials with no animal products, ever.
An elegant silhouette with flowing, cohesive lines, made by hand to deliver comfort to your feet in the form of durable, lightweight, flexible sneakers.
This is about delivering a better, cleaner executed shoe. Slicing through the clouds of clutter and convoluted rhetoric we had a different take. Steer clear of the marketing hyperbole. Soles over syntax. No artificial sweeteners, just hot water. Sayu. 白湯
Footwear can be both practical and soulful, but preciousness is worthless.
Like the craftsman of yesteryear, by making things using natural materials, we incur a debt to nature. We hope by creating quality, meaningful products with less waste, and leading by example, we can lessen this debt.
We hope to develop a rich dialogue around sustainable design and production using what we know and love, footwear, as a vehicle for this change. Canvas sneakers can indeed be a powerful canvas.
This is the beginning. We still have a long way to go, but we promise to continue to improve. We are grateful for the continued support and suggestions we have received.
Here is our first shot. We hope you like it.
How we got started
We attempted to upcycle debris and harmful plastics which eventually degrade into microplastics into our footwear. We spent 1 ½ years working with municipalities, fab labs, city officials, and recycling companies, and are still working on it. The "closed loop economy" at least for the vast majority of footwear is today still inexistent. Recycling is a viable step towards a more sustainable ecosystem, but certainly is not the final answer.
Of the roughly 21 billion pairs of shoes made in 2011 only an estimated 10% could be recovered for either reuse or recycling. By incorporating recycled plastics we feared we were only prolonging the use of harmful plastics before they either went back into landfill, or ended up in the ocean as microplastics. The opposite of what we wanted. We became increasingly concerned about myopic solutions that inadvertently perpetuate an unsustainable cycle of plastic use, be that, recycled or upcycled.
Beyond this, if the energy consumption and processes used to upcycle these harmful plastics didn’t coincide with our objective of a more sustainable approach, it felt dishonest to ourselves and our customers.
The sneaker paradox is real. This particular type of footwear serves as a powerful platform for storytelling and yet often falls short with disjointed work.
As stated recently in an article in the Scientific American, “Recycling plastic is to saving the Earth what hammering a nail is to halting a falling skyscraper."
We started over. Back to the drawing board, following nature's path and selecting natural materials. This was us redesigning our sneaker. Moreover, it is estimated that three fourths of the final environmental impact of the footwear industry can come from this stage in the production process alone. So here we are, still working. Please keep in touch and let us know what you think.