WE INNOVATE SUSTAINABLY WITH BOTH LEATHER AND VEGAN MATERIALS
Whether you’re a herbivore or a carnivore (or perhaps just a minimalist that values the provenance of the items you own) we at VIVOBAREFOOT are committed to giving you both material directions in the most sustainable way possible, making the minimal amount of shoe, so your feet can do their natural thing.
Now, more than ever, the World is switching-on to the importance conscious consumerism and the growing imperative in doing everything we can to protect the environment. In a promising shift, consumers beginning to demand information about where their products come from, what they are made out of and what their impact is on our planet.
It’s time for brands to provide this information through hyper-transparency, not just glossing over the uncomfortable bits.
When it comes to shoe-making materials, VIVOBAREFOOT offer two key avenues to making a more sustainable purchase, in the form of Vegan designs and our Wild Hide leather.
Gobi Swimrun in Eco Canvas
Our Vegan range continues to grow, offering innovative man-made materials which are mitigated by incorporating the use recycled PET bottles and re-constituted Algae. These alternatives are a fantastic option to traditional leather, though they do come with some technical setbacks. Breathability and durability are issues often faced with synthetic materials. What’s more, such shoes tend to lose lustre with age, and are hard to responsibly dispose of when no longer wearable.
The Ultra Bloom Using Algae
On the other side of the coin, we continue to offer leather shoes for those who prefer natural materials.
Why, we hear some of you ask?
Put simply, leather is one of our oldest resources and it remains to this day an outstanding material for making shoes. It’s light and breathable, malleable yet durable… it gains emotional durability with age, and as a natural material, it doesn’t hang around for thousands of years once you’re finished with it (On average, leather takes just 25-50 years to biodegrade… by contrast, the average pair of shoes takes around 1000 years!).
Gobi II in Brown Wild Hide
We acknowledge that the environmental impact of raising so much livestock is vast and worrying, and we hope that in the future, the World’s reliance on animal products will be minimal as material innovation around biomimicry starts to come with more efficient and closed loop alternative. For now, we continue to use leather – whilst making sure we do so in the most responsible way possible.
Ra II in Brown Wild Hide
To do this, we follow 3 golden rules. Our leather must be
- A by-product of the meat industry, part of a no-waste chain
- From animals reared by small-scale, independent farmers which have a lighter touch on the planet rather than the industrialised alternates
- From animals given freedom to explore a natural environment
Our signature Wild Hide cow leather is sourced from small-scale farms in Ethiopia, where in most cases, just a handful of cattle are owned by local families. They roam free, under the watchful eye of independent farmers, meaning that Wild Hide has a unique pattern of marks and scars... a reflection of a good few rubs against a tree and a life well lived. The cattle provide food, and their hides are bought at market by our companions at Pittards Tannery.
Pittards have been working with Ethiopian farmers to tan quality leather in Edjersa since 2005, and have consistently upheld standards in sourcing and quality that have led them to become a trusted partner approved by made by
Pittards prepare the hides, removing any unwanted components, and then tan the leather to make it more durable. It’s then treated to give a rich, desired colour, before being treated with a finishing lacquer to further enhance durability and performance qualities.
The end result is a unique leather that we are truly proud of, where we know exactly where it came from and can be confident in its sustainable credentials.
The perfect shoe is a shoe that has zero biomechanical interference with the foot and zero impact on the planet. This is our ultimate goal and we won’t stop doing what we do until we get there.
Thanks for joining us for the journey.