Every year, around 330 million pairs of shoes are sold in the UK; sadly, most of these end up being sent to landfill. It is time to step it up and get into some upcycled footwear.
Stylish and comfortable, sustainably made, upcycled shoes don’t just look incredible; they are saving lone shoes from being discarded.
So if you’re ready for shoes that are trendy, functional, and good for the planet, then this is the upcycle shoe guide for you!
Peterson + Stoop
Remastered, artisanal and genderless. Coming from a traditional approach to shoemaking, the duo found that, more often than not, sneakers are discarded rather than repaired, so they decided to do something about it. By deconstructing vintage sneakers and rebuilding them with natural materials, Peterson + Stoop’s collection is more than just a pair of sneakers; they are pioneering the next generation of fashion innovation
“We focus on every step of our footwear’s production process. Our social and environmental goals are ever-evolving; we make use of the highest ethical solutions that lie within our current means.”
Toronto born, Paris based designer Calla Haynes found her unique style while studying in New York. The Boucharouite Project is her sustainable initiative which focuses on recycling textiles and supporting traditional craft and artisans. Her shoes are made from upcycled vintage Berber rugs from the souk Marrakesh, Morocco and designed to combine European Luxury with Berber Craft.
“The Boucharouite Project represents the things I have held the most dear about working in fashion: craftsmanship, .and having fun with colour and texture” — Fashion Magazine.
Viron, after its founders, saw that the fashion industry’s existing systems had failed us. Using a wide range of upcycled materials, such as army tents and recycled cotton, they never use new, virgin materials and work towards cutting down the waste as much as possible. They follow a closed-loop business model, where you can send back your old shoes to be deconstructed and upcycled into new boots.
“It’s on us to define the world we want to live in. We need radical action now. In an age of new awakening, counterculture is key in forging a new path with new systems in place.”
Turning trash into gold, this Brussel-based duo creates handmade shoes made from 60–100% recycled waste. Celebrating the post-industrial spirit, Reboot combines the craft of shoemaking with upcycling to resilient alternatives to the current fashion system.
Every year the fashion industry generates more than 92 million tons of waste, knowing that we ask how can a designer keep producing without remorse? Isn’t a designer’s mission to imagine and create the future?
Helen Kirkum Studio
London based Helen Kirkum prides herself on her ability to tell stories through her design. Each item is unique and one of a kind as she weaves together deconstructed shoes that would have otherwise been sent to landfill. Helen Kirkum Studio is leading the way for this new wave of upcycle fashion with her signature deconstructed style capturing the attention of brands worldwide.
“I think not only is it about trying to be more resourceful with your materials, source more sustainable materials, but also education is so important because we’ve grown up in this industry of mass consumerism. Things are changing, and it’s important for people to understand how to go about this change in lifestyle.” — High Snobbery
By Hannah Standen — Co-Founder