Terra Plana's Galahad Clark on Recycling Shoes, Partnership with Greenpeace, and Innovative Design in Fall 2009 (Video)


Terra Plana's Galahad Clark in New York City. Credit: Emma Grady

Ethical footwear brand Terra Plana is paving the path for sustainable shoes -- reusing shoe lasts, creating 99% recycled Worn Again sneakers, making bags from reclaimed materials -- and they won our Best in Green award. I sat down with Galahad Clark, owner Terra Plana, at the launch of their new store in New York City this past week. Click through to watch our video and hear Galahad speak to Terra Plana's partnership with Greenpeace, vegan shoes in Spring 2010, what to do with worn Vivo Barefoots, post-consumer shoe research with Nike, and more.


Terra Plana womens bootie; my favorite from the fall 2009 collection.

Galahad Clark Favors the Terra Plana Pop: A Shoe Without Glue

TreeHugger: Which design is your favorite from the Fall 2009 collection?

Galahad Clark: My favorite is the Terra Plana Pop. Honestly it's probably not the best looking shoe that we've made but as an innovation it's really important for us. It's really light and flexible, so it feels almost like a barefoot shoe. As a piece of sustainable modular design (completely glueless construction) it's the best we've ever done. I accept that we probably have to make it look a little bit better going forward but as a functional piece of design it's my favorite.


TH: Do you have plans for making a version of the Pop Series for Women?

GC: Yes, we've been developing little heel and flat versions of it. It's a really important shoe for us as a whole.

Terra Plana Partners with Greenpeace in Spring 2010 Collection

TH: What is the least eco-friendly element in the Fall 2009 collection that you'd like to improve for Spring 2010?

GC: Probably the least eco-friendly thing we do still are the ladies heels that we make. From a total sustainability point of view they are the least good for you and good for the world. One of the things we've done for 2010 in general is we're developing much more integral construction in the womens line and trying to take a lot of glue out of those shoes. We also have done a collaboration with Greenpeace who actually alerted us to the dangers of leather and the fact that the leather industry is the primary cause of cattle farming which is causing the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest. We've teamed up with them and done a non-leather line. A pound from every [vegan] pair goes to Greenpeace. We're probably going to raise 50,000 pounds for Greenpeace next year [Spring 2010] through that program.

Find out what you can do with your Terra Plana's after they're worn out and hear about their post-consumer shoe research initiative with Nike, on page 2.

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