After a pair of cool kicks and a clean conscience? Then you're in the right place, lady! Meet WAES, the world's first 100% plastic-free sustainable sneaker brand.
Sustainable fashion may be having a moment, but WAES are the real deal, a zero-plastic, 100% biodegradable sneaker with soles made from hand-poured natural rubber collected from old forests and certified FSC village producers. And they were invented here in Devon, by Ed Temperley (cuz of fashion designer Alice) and shoemaker Damian Quinn.
What Muddy loves about these shoes is that unless you were told they were ethical, you’d never know. Hip, not hippy, WAES have a tennis shoe vibe which is totally on trend, and look the biz with everything from a floaty dress, to this year’s wide legs or your grab and go basic jeans. They’re also so comfy, your granny would love them (but we won’t tell if you don’t.) And how refreshing is this – they’re made to last – WAES want you to buy them as infrequently as possible. Amazing, huh?
‘Yeah, yeah’, you say, ‘there are loads of ethical brands out there’ BUT according to Ed, in a typical pair of ‘eco shoes’ less than 30% will be rubber and 70% of the sole will be a form of artificial plastic. Whereas, everything in a pair of WAES has been chosen for its ethics, from the conifer glue and plastic-free thread to the organically-tanned leather.
Having launched in lockdown, with leather, suede or vegan options, far from sitting on their laurels they have already upgraded the carbon-positive shoe with their Water Collection which has a durable coating (science-phobes look away now) which is made from nano-quartz, basically microscopic grains of sand which bond at a molecular level. That translates to a shoe which will literally shed whatever you drop on it, like water off the proverbial duck, whether it’s – wine, coffee, baby goop – the liquid just beads and rolls off.
And the packaging is gorgeous (plastic-free, obvs) made from locally produced (to their Porto base) in Port wines boxes which you can use to keep your gorgeous shoes in, or as storage.
So, if you don’t like the thought of what 20 billion pairs of plastic shoes sold every year are doing to the planet, here’s your chance to do something about it. Get online and buy yourself an awesome pair of sneakers. That’s not hard, now, is it?
Suite 2, Duke St Chambers, Bridge Street, Kingsbridge TQ7 1HX
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