Bro.do x Mylea Better Shoes are made from mushroom leather

January 15, 2021 by  
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As the fashion world looks for alternatives to plastic and leather, mycelium is rising to the top of the material supply chain. Derived from fungi, including mushrooms, mycelium is actually the underground network of filaments called hyphae. Mycelium has been under the microscope as an option for sustainable construction, but one company is now focusing on it as the answer to replace leather in fashion. In a busy first year, Indonesian startup MYCL set a plan into motion, earned B Corp Certification and launched a series of products made from its signature mycelium-based product Mylea. Most of the collection promptly sold out, but products include a watch strap, card tabs, a wallet, a lampshade and sandals. The newest product in the lineup is the Bro.do x Mylea Better Shoes, vegan leather sneakers made in a collaboration with a variety of fashion brands. Related: World’s first “living coffin” made of mycelium is used in a burial Naturally, the sneakers are in response to the notoriously dirty and wasteful fashion industry, so the new shoes speak to the statements on the website, “We are the future, We are the genuine, We are the essential, We are the sustainable.” Not only does leather come at the physical expense of animals, but livestock produces harmful methane emissions, uses excessive amounts of water and requires large sections of land. As for the manufacturing process, leather production has been associated with unsafe working conditions and toxic chemicals being released into nearby groundwater.  Innovative material development advancements such as Mylea offer durable, attractive and ethical options that preserve the planet’s resources and avoid the slaughtering of animals. The company said, “Future technology should be the technology that will make sure that there is a future for next generations. Our innovation offers that.” MYCL is just getting started. As a lab and material development company, its goal is to continue collaborating with existing industry leaders to provide a wider breadth of useful, fashionable and sustainable products. The technology is here; now the question is, where will it go next? + MYCL Images via mycl.bio

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Bro.do x Mylea Better Shoes are made from mushroom leather

Trump administration opens 3.4M acres of owl habitat to loggers

January 15, 2021 by  
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The Trump administration has once again rolled back an important policy regarding the protection of birds . Only about a week ago, the administration stripped protections of migratory birds from accidental deaths by oil companies. This week, it has removed over 3 million acres of Pacific Northwest land from northern spotted owl protected habitat. This means that the land will now be opened to loggers, a situation that exposes the owl to more threats. The decision is the latest in a series of environmental rollbacks by the Trump administration. The  decision , which has been made public by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was born out of a 2013 case challenging the protection of 9.5 million acres for the owls. The case was filled by a lumber association, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to loosen its grip on part of the protected land . Initially, the agency had proposed to release about 200,000 acres from protection; however, in a recent turn of events, it has opted to release a whopping 3.4 million acres from protection. Related: US and Canada in drastic crisis with 3 billion birds lost since 1970 “These common-sense revisions ensure we are continuing to recover the northern spotted owl while being a good neighbor to rural communities within the critical habitat ,” Aurelia Skipwith, the director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, said in a statement. The decision by the agency to release such a huge amount of the habitat from protection has raised an uproar from wildlife conservation groups. According to Susan Jane Brown, an environmental lawyer at Western Environmental Law Center, conservationists are protesting the move and have vowed to sue the agency. “I’ve gotten several calls from wildlife biologists who are in tears who said, ‘Did you know this is happening? The bird won’t survive this,’” Brown said. Data provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service itself is contradictory to the move. Its own research shows that the northern spotted owls are on the decline, despite having a designated habitat. Although they have been protected since 1990, the owls have been declining at a rate of 4% per year. Via The New York Times Photography by Shane Jeffries / USFWS

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Trump administration opens 3.4M acres of owl habitat to loggers

CLAE launches vegan cactus leather sneakers

December 17, 2020 by  
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Independent footwear brand CLAE will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year with the release of its newest shoes made from vegan cactus leather. The Los Angeles-based company is committed to conscious and sustainable fashion, with some of its previous eco-minded sneakers made of materials like hemp and recycled mesh. The cactus leather shoes are a collaboration between CLAE and DESSERTO , highly sustainable, plant-based vegan leather creators who won the Green Product Award in 2020. According to the sneaker company, this will be the world’s first shoe made from a perennial cactus. Related: Oliver Co. makes vegan leather wallets from apple waste and wood The leather is made in Zacatecas, Mexico from the mature leaves of the nopal (also known as prickly pear) cactus without damaging the plant. Cultivated only with natural minerals and rainwater at 8,000-foot altitudes, Nopal is known for its low ecological footprint and is 100% organic . The leaves are harvested every six to eight weeks to give the plant ample time to regenerate and help preserve the local biodiversity. After the mature leaves are cut, they spend a few days drying under the sun before undergoing DESSERTO’s patented process that transforms the plant into a soft yet durable vegan leather. CLAE doesn’t stop there; the Bradley Cactus sneakers are also fitted with laces made of recycled nylon from plastic waste, while the sole is made using 100% natural rubber. This natural rubber comes from the latex sap of Hevea trees and is harvested on sustainably managed forests that help maintain the global balance of atmospheric carbon. The shoes also come packaged in environmentally friendly materials such as recycled cardboard . Bradley Cactus sneakers are currently available for pre-order at an exclusive rate of $130, which is $20 less than the original price. They are available in white, black and green, colors inspired by the Nopal cactus plant. + CLAE Images via CLAE

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CLAE launches vegan cactus leather sneakers

YY Nation shoes are made from bamboo, algae, pineapple and sugarcane

November 9, 2020 by  
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Tens of thousands of years ago, early hunter-gatherers braved frozen landscapes to go in search of food. And on their feet, they weren’t wearing nylon, plastic or synthetic materials. They were wearing natural materials. YY Nation does the exact same thing with its incredible new footwear collection. These shoes are made with pineapple husk , bamboo, sugarcane, algae and Merino wool. Why would you need nylon and plastic when there are durable, natural materials like that available? YY Nation says you don’t. Imagine a beautiful beach in Hawaii. A man is walking along the sand with his daughter. They can hear birds singing. They can see the breathtaking ocean lapping against the shore. Then they look down … and see plastic waste and old shoes. This is what happened to Jeremy Bank. After that experience, he created YY Nation. Related: Native Shoes’ Bloom collection is made of repurposed algae Shoes can be stylish, comfortable and still good for the environment; YY Nation is the proof. After launching on Kickstarter, YY Nation began to receive orders worldwide. That makes sense, because YY Nation footwear was created to improve the whole world — in style, of course. These shoes look trendy and fashionable. They are available in a variety of colors, but best of all, they are made with Earth-friendly materials that won’t leave a bunch of waste behind on the beach or anywhere else. The collection includes four styles: loafers, two types of sneakers and high-tops. Not only do these shoes look great, but they’re also odor-resistant, durable and temperature-regulating, so your feet stay comfortable. YY Nation’s goal is to be the most sustainable shoe in the world. These shoes are made with ocean plastics, recycled rubber, sustainably sourced bamboo , algae bloom and other natural materials. They are held together with an eco-friendly, water-based glue. Even the shoeboxes are made with recycled materials, and the shoe laces are made from recycled ocean plastic. This is how the world becomes better: one step at a time. + YY Nation Images via YY Nation

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YY Nation shoes are made from bamboo, algae, pineapple and sugarcane

Biodegradable childrens shoes come with expiration date

November 6, 2020 by  
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Recent industrial design graduate Shahar Asor is knitting biodegradable children’s shoes out of a sustainable composite material. The shoes are meant to disassemble and disintegrate completely in the wash after a designated time frame to encourage greener fashion choices and limit excessive consumer consumption. Just as we purchase food according to its shelf life, the “Best Before” research project contemplates, “What if we could buy clothes the same way that we buy milk?” “There’s no doubt fashion can have a positive impact on us, it can be our voice and give us the confidence we need, but sometimes we buy new clothes simply because we objectively need to — as in the case of maternity or children’s clothes,” Asor told Inhabitat. “Some of us donate and others recycle but the truth is most of our unclaimed garments found themselves in landfills. So, if a garment is being used for a limited period of time why does it stay on earth for so long? Why not design it with its end of use moment in mind?” Related: Seaweed Girl explores seaweed as an eco-textile for sustainable fashion Best Before offers a way to accommodate the contradiction between clothes made of long-lasting fabric (some taking between 20 and 200 years to break down, as is the case with synthetic fibers) and the need to change our wardrobe due to lifestyle changes, health or growth spurts. By essentially shifting the concept of an expiration date to the fashion industry, Best Before is sending us on the right track toward sustainable fashion . The shoe fabric is composed of a knit-based composite material designed to dissolve in the washing machine after a certain amount of time. Each shoe is made from one piece of fabric to include a flexible upper portion and a strong sole. Designed in collaboration with Oded Shoseyov, a professor from the Agriculture, Food and Environment Department at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the fabric materials leave no harmful pollutants in the environment after dissembling. This way, buyers can take into account their child’s growth without releasing more unsustainable products into the world and without worrying about what to do with all of those outgrown shoes. + Shahar Asor Photography by Noi Einav & Leean Lani via Shahar Asor

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Biodegradable childrens shoes come with expiration date

Cariuma welcomes a new Pantone collection of natural, vegan shoes

August 20, 2020 by  
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Brazilian sustainable sneaker company Cariuma has released its newest collection of completely vegan and natural footwear . All styles in the fall Pantone collection are made of organic cotton canvas and raw natural rubber gathered through ethical tapping. Released on August 12, the new vegan shoes come after a similar Color of the Year collaboration that sold out on pre-order after just one week and gained a waitlist of 5,000 hopeful customers. The collection is inspired by the unique color palettes found in nature from different regions around the world. The Picante color comes from Arizona’s red rocks and desert, while the Bungee Cord green is inspired by free climbers on El Capitan in California. Blueprint blue recalls the last spot on the horizon where the sky blends into the sea, and Snow White is inspired by the snowy white mountain caps on Everest. The black shoes, dubbed Moonless Night, resemble the dark days of Alaskan winter. These naturally occurring tones are chosen for versatility so that each color is easy to match with your style, even as the seasons change. Related: Vegan shoes from Insecta are a stylish option for eco-friendly footwear Cariuma is on a mission to take a stand against fast fashion as well as other wasteful and unsustainable practices in the fashion industry. The brand’s IBI collection, for example, was the first sneaker made from bamboo and RPET, making it 30% to 40% lighter than common sneakers. Perhaps even better, every purchase of a pair of vegan shoes from Cariuma will go toward planting two trees in the Brazilian rainforest, directly aiding in reforestation and preservation of endangered species and natural habitats. These reforestation efforts will focus on native Brazilian species such as the Jacaranda, Pau-brasil-branco, Peroba, Caroba and the Murici-da-mata. Prices in the new Pantone collection range from $89 to $98, depending on style. + Cariuma Images via Cariuma

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Cariuma welcomes a new Pantone collection of natural, vegan shoes

Kangaroo leather sporting goods illegally sold in California

July 29, 2020 by  
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Nearly 5 years after California outlawed the sale of products made from kangaroo skin, over 100 retailers are still selling these items. In 2016, the California Penal Code § 653o went into effect, banning the sale and import of athletic shoes made from kangaroo leather, or k-leather. However, a recent investigation by the Center for a Humane Economy (CHE) has proven otherwise. In the investigation, which spanned several months, CHE has established that the majority of 117 physical specialty stores and 76 online retailers are selling products made with kangaroo skin . The investigation has found that some leading retailers, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Nike and New Balance, are still stocking k-leather products years after the ban. According to the California Penal Code § 653o, any person found selling or importing k-leather products could face penalties of up to $5,000 and six months in jail. Such penalties have not stopped retailers from selling the products, in part due to a lack of enforcement. Even some of the leading shoe brands are still producing k-leather products years after the legislation was put in place. Related: Dutch designer creates leather alternative from palm leaves In a recent attempt to determine whether Nike still produces k-leather products, Robert Ferber, a former Los Angeles city prosecutor specializing in animal cruelty crimes, ordered a pair of shoes from Nike. He requested that the shoes be made with k-leather. “I’ve ordered pairs of Tiempo Legend 8 Elite to see if Nike was following the law,” Ferber said. “Except for a brief period this spring, the shoes I ordered through Nike.com appeared promptly and illegally on my doorstep.” In Australia alone, approximately 2 million kangaroos are killed annually for their skin. Given that their skin is very tough, it is a popular choice for sporting goods manufacturers that want to make durable products. CHE and other organizations are now collaborating to end the use of kangaroo leather . CHE has created a list of companies that use kangaroo skin and specifically outlined which products include this material in a bid to discourage people from buying these items. + CHE Via VegNews Image via Terri Sharp

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Kangaroo leather sporting goods illegally sold in California

These funky sandals upcycle fabric from the cutting room floor

June 26, 2020 by  
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The fashion industry deserves a harsh slap on the wrist for how its manufacturing impacts the environment . From the overconsumption of resources to water pollution to material waste, it’s refreshing when companies take corporate responsibility and show concern for nature. Native Shoes is one such company, with a history of making a light footprint in the production of their footwear. The company’s newest release, Davis Repurposed, is a slight variation from their already popular Davis collection. Related: Native Shoes’ Bloom collection is made of repurposed algae The ‘repurposed’ portion reflects that these shoes use scraps of leftover material that would otherwise go to waste. By being repurposed for these bright, bold and fun sandals, the colorful fabric stays out of landfills. Featuring two-straps, adjustable buckles, an EVA midsole and a contoured footbed, Davis Repurposed serves as a versatile shoe option for day trips, hiking excursions, beach walks or backyard celebrations. The line carries adult, junior and child sizes for all genders, with the addition of a thoughtful stretchy heel strap for the toddler set. Each pair retails for $55 CAD (child), $61 CAD (junior) and $75 CAD (adult). Native is not new to the sustainable manufacturing effort, with a history of innovative research and design. For example, its Plant Shoe uses only natural glues and a  plant-based, biodegradable template . The company manufactures its Bloom collection with repurposed algae using Rise by Bloom technology. Each of these examples serves Native’s mission statement: “Our goal by 2023, is for each and every pair of Natives Shoes to be 100% life cycle managed.” Native’s Remix Project aims to provide a return method for all Native-produced shoes so consumers can easily send them back to the company, where they are then recycled into other products for the community. According to the initiative, “The unique composition of Native Shoes can be reground into versatile material that is useful in the creation of seating, playground flooring, insulation and more. Leveraging a proprietary regrind process, we are able to break down the materials found in every style of Native Shoes including sandals, slip-ons, knit sneakers and boots. From that point – there’s no telling where your soles could turn up!” + Native Shoes Images via Native Shoes

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These funky sandals upcycle fabric from the cutting room floor

Work from home in style in these slippers made of natural and recycled materials

May 20, 2020 by  
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Footwear requirements at home are different than anywhere else you may roam. While sometimes slippers or bare feet fit the bill, other times you might need proper support, even if you’re staying indoors. The entrepreneur behind Dooeys thinks you can have the best of both worlds, with a shoe and a slipper in one that won’t hurt the planet. Founder of Dooeys, Jordan Clark, originally from Seattle, Washington, was living in Amsterdam and found herself struggling to find a proper pair of shoes for her typical work-from-home activities. Tennis shoes were too rigid, and slippers didn’t offer the support she needed nor the style she desired. So she decided to design her own footwear that women could wear while working and lounging at home. She dubbed this footwear Slipshoes. Related: Vegan shoes from Insecta are a stylish option for eco-friendly footwear In addition to comfort and versatility, it was important to Clark that the shoes were made with sustainability in mind. She said, “I came up with the idea for Dooeys two years ago before I had any idea there would be a global shift forcing millions to work from home. I spent the past year-and-a-half designing and sourcing sustainable materials to make the perfect house shoes for women.” To that end, Slipshoes are made with a breathable upper portion using vegan apple leather that comes from post-processing organic apple skins grown in the Italian Alps. The insoles are produced from cork , which is harvested in Portugal and bound with natural latex from the rubber tree. The EVA soles are made from sugarcane while the footbed stems from coconut husks. Each shoe is made in Portugal using these earth-friendly materials, along with recycled plastic and recycled polyester.  Jordan hopes the shoes appeal to anyone who loves the environment and just enjoys working, lounging or entertaining at home. The Slipshoes are available as two-tone loafer or slide-in mules. Both styles are currently available for pre-order on the Dooeys website for $145. + Dooeys Images via Dooeys

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Work from home in style in these slippers made of natural and recycled materials

Native Shoes’ Bloom collection is made of repurposed algae

May 18, 2020 by  
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Many conventional shoes are made with materials sourced from petroleum, but conscientious companies, like Native Shoes, have been rethinking that choice, digging for solutions in using readily available and eco-friendly materials instead. For Native Shoes, turning to algae , which naturally occurs in lakes and rivers, presented a benefit that is two-fold. Algae take oxygen from the water, and if oxygen levels deplete too much, they can kill off fish and become toxic to humans. Although algae often serve as food for aquatic life, removing some algae from the water makes it safer for the entire ecosystem. But then what do you do with all of this excess algae that has been removed? Native Shoes’ Bloom collection is made using “Rise by Bloom” technology that repurposes the algae, transforming it into a high-performance material for the shoes. The company stated, “The innovative manufacturing process cleans up to 80L of water and 50 square meters of air per pair, resulting in cleaner lakes and rivers , healthier air and featherlight footwear.” Related: Algae Lamps are a work of art and natural shade in one The newest line builds on Native Shoes’ classic Jefferson model, with designs for women and children in new colors to welcome spring and warmer weather. The collection also includes the new Audrey Bloom, a classic, feminine flat; the Jefferson Bloom Child features a slip-on, slip-off kids’ shoe . The Jefferson Bloom is priced at $45, the Audrey Bloom is $55 and the Jefferson Bloom Child starts at $40. Native Shoes’ mission is to fuse innovation with sustainability to create comfortable, durable shoes that leave a small footprint on the planet. According to Native Shoes, the company hopes to find alternative uses for all of its products by 2023 in a goal to “Live Lightly.” As such, it has created initiatives such as the Native Shoes Remix Project, which recycles the shoes into playground equipment for local kids in Vancouver. Native Shoes is also experimenting with 3D printing and more plant-based designs. + Native Shoes Images via Native Shoes

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