Our newsfeeds are filled with climate- and sustainability-related updates, alarming scientific reports and gloomy headlines. The effects of climate change are on everybody's lips these days. However, with environmental challenges also come new opportunities to make better changes. Sustainability seems to resonate more than ever. Even in the world of sneakers.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
The Danish sneaker brand WODEN focusses on craftsmanship, functionality and the perfect fit. With the greatest respect for the environment, WODEN takes a sustainable approach based on the keywords: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
At WODEN, it’s not just about creating another sneaker:
“It’s slowly becoming fashionable to be sustainable. But there is no such thing as a 100% sustainable sneaker. Everything produced has an environmental and social price and we still have a long journey ahead of us. But at WODEN we are proud to be a part of the change. This is how we raise the bar for a greener footprint – one step at a time,” explains founder and CEO Carsten Holm.
Carbon-neutral fish leather
The fish leather that we use in all WODEN sneakers is a waste product from the Icelandic fishing and food industry. An industry in which only 1% of the skin is actually used, and the rest is destroyed. The fish leather, which comes primarily from salmon skins, is both hard-wearing and sustainable. This is due to the unique cross-fibre structure of the fish leather which makes it up to 10 times stronger than calf leather. The fish leather is treated and tanned in Iceland using gentle and eco-friendly methods aided by Iceland’s natural hot springs. This tanning process produces 0% carbon emissions.
WODEN sneakers’ backing consists of 50% recycled polyester from PET bottles. By using everyday waste to create new textiles for our sneakers, we minimise the use of crude oil in the production of new fibres. It also means that our textile production is less energy-consuming.
Gentle cork harvest
All our insoles are covered with the characteristic WODEN cork. The cork that we use is harvested in Argentina and Portugal. The bark of a cork tree can be harvested gently every ten years. Since the cork trees are not felled, the bark can be harvested over several hundred years. When the cork trees begin to form new bark, they convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. This contributes to a positive reduction in the planet’s CO2 levels.
Pollution causes excessive growth of harmful algae in fresh water. When the algae die and sink to the bottom, the decomposition process uses the oxygen from the water. At worst, this results in oxygen depletion, causing fish, benthos and plants to die. By collecting algae and using them in our EVA soles, we reduce our need for crude oil and support UN Sustainable Development Goal number 14: Life below water.
WODEN’s soles are made of 65% natural rubber, 10% recycled rubber and 25% conventionally produced rubber. The composition ensures elasticity and durability without compromising on support. We work continuously to increase the proportion of recycled rubber even more, but it must never compromise the quality of our sneakers.
At WODEN, we believe that small actions can lead to big changes as long as we put one foot in front of the other.
Read more about WODEN on the brandpage: fashionunited.com/companies/woden