The footwear industry manufactures approx 23 billion pairs of shoes a year, 95% of which end up in landfills and most of them won’t break down over time. Recently, Canadian footwear manufacturer SOLE along with American apparel company United By Blue introduced a pair of shoes made with recycled corks, bison fiber, merino wool, algae bloom foam, and rice husks called the Jasper Wool Eco Chukka. These innovative shoes show that stylish, durable footwear and apparel items can be made from sustainable materials. The fashion industry has a serious waste problem and one of the ways we can overcome fast-fashion is to purchase (if we’re able to) well-made, classic items that can last many seasons.
The idea behind the collaboration first sparked at the Outdoor Retailer Innovation Awards 2018, where an early version of SOLE’s Jasper Wool Eco Chukka, and United By Blue’s Bison Puffer Jacket were both recognized as finalists for their sustainable innovation, with the UBB Bison Puffer emerging as an overall winner.
The Jasper Wool Eco Chukka first launched as a Kickstarter campaign and fully met its funding goal within the first 24 hours and they’ve already begun production of the shoes. If you’re interested in backing their campaign and purchasing a pair of shoes yourself, there’s still time!