At SAOLA Shoes, we believe in style and sustainability. Casual shoes for men, cute shoes for women, all made with sustainable, eco-friendly materials.Go to brand website
|Recycled Material Packaging Third Party Certified||GOTS - Global Organic Textile Standard Global Recycled Standard||4|
People & Animals
While helping various French sport brands get off the ground in the U.S., outdoor apparel industry veteran Guillaume Linossier saw just how environmentally damaging the production process was for much of what he was representing.
After 17 years hawking wares that were part of the problem, he decided it was time to make an impact using much of what he learned along the way.
“I was pretty sensitive to what was going on” with our environmental impact, he says. “We just need to make fewer new shoes.”
He started to look at which parts of the footwear production process could be improved using less harmful construction and more sustainable and recyclable products.
In 2016, he launched a Kickstarter campaign with tentative plans to produce shoes out of mostly recycled materials, and Saola Shoes was born.
The reality is, most days we need to wear shoes. And we really LIKE to wear shoes that look cool and feel good. The problem is, the way companies have been making those styly, comfortable shoes over the last several decades has been wreaking havoc on our planet - the footwear industry is one of the world’s greatest polluters. So we’re on a mission to change that, by designing casual kicks that look good, feel great, and are made with as many eco-friendly materials as possible.
RECYCLED SHOES FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Because we know that sixty to seventy percent of the environmental footprint of a pair of shoes is a result of the product’s materials, we’ve made eco-construction the central pillar of SAOLA’s shoe development. Read below to learn more about each of the sustainable materials we’ve selected to make our sustainable shoes.
RECYCLED PLASTIC BOTTLES (PET)
PET is polyethylene terephthalate. Don’t worry – we can’t pronounce it either. You know it as the plastic used to make food packaging and plastic water bottles (cringe). When recycled, PET goes through a cleaning, grinding, and melting process that results in thread, giving second life to plastic and reducing trash in our landfills. And what happens to this thread you might ask? Well, it’s then woven into various fabrics to create the comfy and stylish uppers for SAOLA shoes. The technology has come so far that we are now able to mimic animal-based materials like leather and suede using recycled plastic, too. If we didn’t tell you they were recycled shoes, you’d never know it.
“When I started SAOLA, I was adamant that I wanted to make our shoes as eco-friendly as possible, but I wasn’t willing to sacrifice comfort or style to do so. After all, that was one of the catalysts to me starting SAOLA – I wanted to buy eco-friendly products that were as cool-looking and comfortable as the ones I saw at shops and I couldn’t find any. The uppers are the most noticeable part of a shoe that give it its overall style, and we now have way more options in recycled materials to choose from. It’s cool to be a part of a movement that is changing the perception of what eco-friendly style means.” – Guillaume Linossier
Depending on the style, each pair of SAOLA shoes contains between four and five recycled PET bottles. And one more thing. Our PET supplier is accredited by the "Recycled Global Standard" certification, which ensures the traceability of the production line of these materials. That's the way we can produce recycled plastic shoes.
ALGAE FOAM IN THE OUTSOLES OF OUR RECYCLED SHOES
Rising temperatures and excess chemicals in our lakes and rivers contribute to the growth of algae - harming the lives of plants, animals, and humans. We’ve partnered with the team at Bloom Foam to harvest harmful algae and create eco-friendly, bio-sourced materials for the insoles and outsoles of our shoes. Bloom Foam removes harmful algae from the water and puts it through a process that dries, crushes and converts it into powder. This powder is then mixed with EVA (a synthetic material) to become Algae Foam, used for sole construction. Using Algae Foam allows us to use fifteen to twenty percent less synthetic materials in our soles, cleans lakes of harmful algae, and prevents the release of CO2 into the atmosphere. Now that’s what we call a win for mother nature, and a win for your feet.
RECYCLED EVA OUTSOLES FOR OUR SHOES
ORGANIC COTTON FOR RECYCLED SHOES LACES
Did you know that cotton cultivation represents only 2.4% of the agricultural area, but that it uses nearly one quarter of the pesticides sold in the world? Gah! That's why we use organic cotton for our recycled shoes. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers are replaced by natural compost, and this cotton requires half as much water as traditional cotton. The end-result is cotton that is softer, more flexible, and way kinder to the planet.
CORK IN THE INSOLES
MAKE AN IMPACT
Thank you for being a part of the SAOLAdventure. YOU are awesome, and together we can #MAKEANIMPACT.