We’re all a bit more mindful about our purchases these days.
Now there’s a way to replace your worn-out trainers with a pair that are as cool as they are kind to the environment… and to the people who make them.
Inspired by the classic tennis silhouettes of the Seventies and Eighties, Sampla’s shoes are unisex, designed in Cork and ethically crafted in Portugal using vegan materials.
The upper part of the shoes is made from apple skin, which is produced by repurposing leftover apple waste from the juice industry in Bolzano, northern Italy.
How does that work?
Well; the apple core, pips and skins are dried and milled to a fine apple powder, which is applied to a tear-resistant woven roll and heated to produce a weather-resistant durable fabric. The soles are individually handcrafted and made using a combination of natural crepe and durable recycled PU.
Even the laces are made from organic cotton that isn’t treated with pesticides, insecticides or herbicides.
More than 25 billion pairs of shoes are manufactured each year, most of them in developing countries with extreme working conditions, unfair wages, and little regulatory involvement.
“Sampla – the Irish word for example – is comprised of a small group of friends from Cork, Waterford, Galway and Dublin with shared interests in design, humanitarianism and the environment.” says founder Finbarr Power, who has been working on the concept for two years.
The journey started with a search for a pair of shoes that met three simple requirements: made with environmentally conscious materials, ethically produced, elegant, and affordable. Unable to find a shoe that matched these criteria, the team decided to merge their combined experience in design, business and technology and set out to create their own.
“We’re proud to have partnered with a small family-owned workshop in Braga, Portugal.” added Finbarr.
“They manufacturer in small batches, maintain an extremely high standard of ethics, pay their artisans fairly, and most importantly treat everyone like family.”
As if that wasn’t enough to pique the interest of sustainable shoppers, the company will be planting an indigenous tree in Ireland for each pair of shoes crafted.
If all this is floating your boat, there’s more good news; Sampla is getting ready for a crowdfunding launch. Supporters who get in early will save up to 40% off the retail price of their first pair of Sampla kicks so you can order a pair for €87.
Follow Sampla Footwear on Instagram for updates.