Our vision is for a world of zero-waste shoes. Beautiful and stylish sneakers made from robust but ultimately compostable materials that look great on your feet.
This revolutionary 100% plastic-free and biodegradable sneaker range is perfect for those who love jaw-dropping premium sneaker design without the ecological price-tag.
We believe there is a better way of making shoes. One which promotes tree planting and works in partnership with the natural carbon cycle. Our ambition is to change the way shoes are manufactured, to prove our way is economically viable, and in doing so provide a blueprint for other manufacturers to follow.
We use sustainable materials and natural organic processes which prioritise sustainability above profit. Our footwear is built to last. Our high quality, ethically sourced materials and rigorous manufacturing costs are many times higher than in ordinary shoe production, but the final cost to you is kept low via our direct model.
The good news doesn't stop there. Our manufacturing process uses natural flexible materials that come with in-built performance enhancements and elevated comfort over plastic-based alternatives. We are partnering up with the greatest chemist of all time: Nature.
All our footwear is produced with materials in our active carbon cycle. There’s no dredging up of ancient fossil fuels to sling on your feet here, and we are committed to being carbon neutral throughout our supply chain.
THE HOPE: VEGAN, PLANT-BASED & ZERO PLASTIC
THE CHAMELEON: ORGANICALLY TANNED LEATHER
MADE OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY MATERIALS
No greenwash, no compromises: WAES only use the highest quality materials, certified to exacting standards.
OUR SHOE CONSTRUCTION
WHAT DOES ZERO WASTE MEAN?
The story of our zero-waste shoe is beautiful in its simplicity. We use natural ingredients which have been engineered to remain easily compostable after they have been shredded, and the tiny amount of metal we use (Hope model eyelets) is easily recyclable in any household collection. Our shoes are built to last your lifetime, not outlast the planet.
By using the highest quality materials (and a little cobbling knowhow), we've engineered the plastic out, and the bonus is they'll last longer on your feet than most shoes, before eventually being ground down into plant food. Big walker? Return your worn-out WAES to us and receive a discount off your next pair.
OUR PRODUCTION PROCESS: FROM TREE SAP TO SHOES AND BACK AGAIN...
OUR PRODUCTION & THE ENVIRONMENT
Fashion and our planet face three main issues: our addiction to plastic, inhumane labour practises for our cheap shoes, and climate change. We believe the current system is ripe for change. You can be part of that change by voting with your spending: as a consumer, you have all the power, and you exercise it every day in the purchases you make.
Carbon neutrality sits at the heart of our environmental commitment and whilst our shoes are made from 100% rubber tree sap from established FSC forests, this isn't enough. After use our shoes will be returned, ground down, composted, and used to grow more trees.
THE PLASTIC (SHOE) PROBLEM
CARBON NEUTRAL FOOTWEAR PRODUCTION
Climate collapse is one of the greatest threats to our world, alongside the tide of plastic. Which is why, in addition to removing plastic from our environment, we are working towards full carbon neutral certification via the planting of mangroves and have teamed up with SEA TREES and we'll plant one mangrove tree for every pair of WAES shoes purchased.
Did you know Mangroves store carbon down in the seabed and are more than five times more efficient at sequestering carbon than a rainforest tree? Plus providing a valuable habitat and nursery for many ocean creatures.
In addition every pair of WAES shoes purchased means less plastic on our beaches. We will be supporting Surfers Against Sewage who have been at the forefront of protecting our oceans for decades and their beach cleans are a very real and efficient method of removing plastics from the oceanic cycle.
From our costs and profits, to our materials and processes, and through to your foot. We have nothing to hide in our fully transparent and direct model. In fact our materials prices are between 3 and 5 times that of other eco shoes. Making a completely natural product is both time consuming and expensive, but also so worth it.
We've broken it down below for an average cost of our Hope model. As you can see our Early Bird prices are a brilliant deal, one to make our accountants scratch their heads. And if our shoe was in a traditional retail environment it would be at a much higher price to sustain all the overheads inbuilt into a traditional retail model.
MADE IN PORTUGAL
Our shoes are assembled in Portugal by the best and most ethical factories staffed by committed and talented production experts. We have also decided to make it our home: one half of the WAES family have moved to Porto where they'll be working alongside the amazing craftspeople there to oversee production.
Our zero-plastic product is delivered from the factory to your doorstep in sustainable and reusable Port wine boxes.
WE ARE WAES
We are shoe designers, ocean advocates, surfers - and a scientist - united by a desire to produce products which help shape a better world.
The WAES logo is derived from the alchemy symbol for earth and the name itself is an acronym of the classical elements of Water, Air, Earth and Sun: these define our manufacturing philosophy of combining science and natural materials.
With decades of shoe production under our belts, our team are taking their knowledge and sourcing expertise into a product range we can be truly proud of.
HAVE A QUESTION? WE ARE HERE
Risks and challenges
The WAES team have decades of experience in cobbling and shoe production and successful online retail having made and retailed sustainable footwear and other products for many well-known brands.
Our manufacturing partners in Porto have invested in the project, meaning our shoes will be first on the line in the factory. Additionally, half the WAES family have moved to Porto full time to oversee production and ensure the project is delivered on time.
We feel confident in our timeline, but should anything unexpected happen we will be fully transparent we are in our pricing and labour practices.
You, the Kickstarter community, will be the first to know of any new developments.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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