Our Philosophy and Sustainability policy
VIVOBAREFOOT follows the principles that barefoot shoe making ‘is’ sustainable shoe making. The shoes we make are about reconnecting humans with themselves and with nature.
Inspired by the book “Sustain-ability” by Ehrenfeld, there are only 2 good reasons to fill the world up with more ‘stuff’;
- First products should help us connect to nature.
- Secondly, products should make us feel more human.
Treading lightly on the Earth and making shoes that are healthy for you and the environment is at the core of everything we do. We embrace environmental sustainability and use lifecycle analysis to look for efficiencies through design, materials selection, people and manufacturing processes to make more durable products that people love to wear.
Our sustainability approach is focused on 4 main areas:
VIVOBAREFOOT is continually seeking ways to increase energy and consumption efficiencies by striving for simple solutions in all that we do. We realize that even a small adjustment to the way we usually do things can result in large environmental gains and cost savings further down the chain.
We conserve energy through the development of new technologies and redesign existing ones to create cost-effective improvements.
We work closely with indigenous shoemakers from all over the globe and are inspired by the contrast and similarities of modern, automated shoe making practices.
We innovate to optimize and create shoes that are easier to make, better to wear and last longer.
Every material we use should have a genuine eco story and reason for its intended use.
- Natural: We use leathers from wild roaming cattle and sustainably tanned hides that minimize water and chemical use. We also use sustainably sourced natural yarns and materials like cork.
- Recycled: We look to use recycled PET and rubber compounds where possible in order to minimize our use of virgin materials while maintaining high levels of performance and durability
- Durable: Making a shoe last a long time is fundamental part of sustainable shoe making. We use virgin materials only when there are not alternatives available that offer the extreme durability requirements of most of our outsoles and specific products that require very lightweight yet robust uppers.
- Local: where possible we make sure that the materials we select are as close to the shoe factory in order to reduce unnecessary transport and emissions.
We continually work to limit the use of chemical substances in our shoes and substitute, where possible, with products or systems with less environmental impact. We work closely with all of our material suppliers to comply with the absolute latest and highest standards in Environmental safety and push to improve all the materials we use.
- PRODUCT LIFE
Making products that last, both literally and in the heart of the user is paramount to our sustainable thinking.
- Product Durability: The worst thing we can do is make products that do not last, are thrown away quickly and end up in landfill. Making soft, thin, flexible shoes that last longer is our unique challenge and we are continuously working to set new standards and extend product life in every shoe we make.
- Emotional Durability: We aim to make products that get better the more you wear them. We strive to only make products that you love to wear everyday
Early humans invented shoes for thermal and puncture protection and nothing else. At VIVOBAREFOOT this is our starting point. We have a patented puncture resistant layer (PRO-5) in all of our shoes and a special removable thermal insole to keep your feet at a comfortable temperature even when it gets cold outside.
Each one of our shoes is designed to honor the foot first and built so you can walk, run and move on any terrain, in city’s or in nature. We aim for maximum underfoot performance with as little shoe as possible.
There needs to be a definite reason and consumer need for every product we make and every shoe should live up too or exceed our barefoot shoemaking principles. Otherwise we are just filling the world up with more stuff.
The Perfect Shoe
In the future, our aim is to create products that are made with closed loop manufacturing processes. Shoes that create no waste, are free from any toxic substances and have no adverse impact on the environment.
We are now working with MADE BY and we are a member of the SUSTAINABLE APPREL COALITION so we can be externally audited by reputable partners and learn how to weave our philosophy into every part of Vivobarefoot.
The perfect shoe is a shoe that has zero biomechanical interference with the foot and zero impact on the planet. This is our ultimate goal and we won’t stop doing what we do until we get there.
Thanks for joining us for the journey.