Welcome to Sourcing! This column will focus on one specific item and find the best of the best pieces in that category from independent designers. Searching the internet and finding fantastic designers that no one is else talking about is what I do best. I can’t say it’s a skill set that is particularly useful. That being said learning about new designers and their story brings me joy, and maybe someone else too.
I decided to start this sourcing column because over the years people have DM’d me about a very specific piece they are looking for and I have done my best to give them some options. Ultimately, I end up finding more great examples later on and wanted a place to showcase my finds. Plus, it gives me a chance to highlight established as well as emerging independent designers I adore. You are not going to find any major labels in this column.
Let’s start with a category that I find quite interesting: (Truly) sustainably made sneakers. There is a lot of greenwashing in clothing production so finding companies that are transparent about their production is quite a relief.
- Loci sneakers are made from recycled ocean plastic with bamboo lining. The sole is made with natural cork and recycled foam. The brass eyelets are from recycled materials as well. Each shoe is hand made in the companies facilities in Portugal.
- Nothing New sneakers are unique in their plant-based suede uppers and accents on the side. Each shoe is hand stitched which means the shoe is incredible flexible, and eliminates harmful chemicals that are used to bond mass-produced shoes.
- Hirundo sneakers are created with recycled rubber outsole that is extra light and incredibly flexible. The leather lining is vegetable tanned and procured from a certified leather working group partner. The insole is made from one piece of cork, allowing for the shoe to be extra light.
- Saye sneakers are made from corn vegan napa leather. The interior of the shoes are made from a combination of bamboo and recycled Polyurethane (leftover waste from a mattress factory). All packaging is 100% biodegradable.
- Cariuma sneakers are entirely made from self-regenerating bamboo and recycled plastics. The interior is made from ultra flexible bamboo, which allows for the shoe to be extra light. The outer sole is made from sugarcane, a bio-based plastic that is flexible, light and incredible resistant to wear and tear.
I love finding smaller brands to highlight and this column will be a place for you to discover those brands each month. Now, off to deep dive into the internet to find pieces for the next round of sourcing.