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Meet the Kickstarter designers creating conscious kicks

These Nordic entrepreneurs have designed a shoe that’s both stylish and thoughtful.

The New Movements creators describe themselves as having “one simple goal: walk with impact for a better and cleaner tomorrow.” With this noble mission in mind, they’ve designed a shoe that combines practicality and style with conscious manufacturing.

New Movements sneakers are made using a combination of “natural and recycled” materials. They point out that “the footwear industry often overlooks natural and recycled materials for cheaper synthetic options.”

The cheaper synthetic options are often made from plastic, which is not as durable as natural leather, will break faster, will end up in a landfill sooner, and will stay there for hundreds of years.

The eco fashion industry isΒ fraught with difficulties and contradictions. As a consumer, it’s difficult to determine which option is, in fact, the best for the planet and every creature on it. Is a vegan plastic option made in potentially exploitative factories with no environmental chemical regulations really more ‘ethical’ than a more durable natural leather made in Europe under stricter regulations?

New Movements says no. These fashion-forward conscious designers are striking a balance, using Italian made, chromium-free leather that is the by-product of the meat and dairy industries. They combine this with 70 percent recycled rubber outer soles, laces made from post-consumer recycled plastic and natural wood, wool, and latex inner soles.

A collaboration with ocean cleanup initiative Empower means New Movements will fund the removal of one pound (nearly half a kilo) of ocean plastic. Backers will receive their shoes in a recycled cardboard box and organic cotton bag, without a scrap of plastic packaging.

The shoes are made by craftspeople in Portugal, to European labour standards. “We decided to work with suppliers and shoemakers in Europe to ensure good working practices and fair wages.”

The designers pride themselves on three things: quality, craftsmanship, sustainability. They said, “We decided to be transparent with our production process. That’s why we offer insight into our supply chain to ensure people that they confidently can ‘walk with impact’ in New Movements sneakers.”

50 percent of the energy used in production comes from renewable sources.

While no fashion item can be perfect when it comes to sustainability, New Movements sneakers are thoughtfully made and designed to last when it comes to both quality and style, which puts them leaps and bounds ahead of the fast fashion shoemakers designing disposable seasonal trends.

You can support their Kickstarter campaign here.

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