Jade Pachira boot

A decade ago there was a ‘start-up’ company, whose enviro footwear was 'so cool' that they quickly generated an estimated $6 million USD in unpaid advertising, through editorial exposure. They were pushing design and manufacturing envelopes in all directions. Recycled car tyres, fair trade rainforest rubber, recycled diaper production waste, hemp, recycled cork, water based adhesives, etc. All the big names in shoes started releasing eco models in response. The company was just shipping worldwide, when the venture capitalists pulled out. The doors closed. Now Julie Lewis, founder of that business is back, much wiser. Her new company is Vigilante Jade and her first product is the Pachira ...... The uppers are hemp/cotton, the soles contain 40% recycled hospital gloves (or car tyres in the black soled version) and the tongue padding and insole are recovered foam from upholstery manufacturing. And the non-leather reinforcing contains 20% recycled PET from fizzy drink bottles, while the eyelets are made of 80% post-consumer recycled metals and the mid sole is 100% pre-consumer card from recycled coffee filters, office file folders and post-consumer magazines. All of which comes in a shoebox, printed with soy based inks and can be inverted to created a graphically rich gift box. (The plant, Pachira aquatica, is also known as the Jade tree ... or the lucky, money tree. Lets hope Julie gets plenty of the latter two, because she has certainly put in the hard yards to change the face of footwear for the better). $75 from online stores like ::Vivavi [by WM]

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