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Sneakers made by nature

Wao

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Italy
City: 
Venice

Language for original content:

Project elaborated in partnership: 
No
Start/End date: 
04/2018
Ongoing: 
Yes

Type of funding:

Description: 

Italian start up Dress-to-live saw the light in April 2018 with the purpose of producing sustainable fashion, with the least environmental impact possible, where waste can be used as a resource to provide life-giving nutrients to a new ecosystem. But the research for materials and suppliers started well before.

Dress-to-live now features 10 partners, mostly coming from the fashion industry, who wanted to be among those who are making a difference. They first launched their product - WAO shoes - on a crowdfunding platform and, after reaching the goal, they were able to open their e-commerce. They now sell only at sustainable fairs and online for two main reasons:

  • not to overproduce and
  • not to follow the rushed fashion timing.

WAO shoes are entirely made with natural, innovative and sustainable materials. All 12 parts of the shoes come from the earth and return to it at the end of their cycle. 

  • The upper part is made of hemp and wood fiber, in ecru or dyed colours. Only natural colours are used.
  • The insole is made with cork and coconut fiber, both totally natural.
  • The lining is from hemp and organic cotton, as well as the laces.
  • The sole is made with Go!Zero rubber by Gommus, which is degradable up to 100%.

At the end of their lifecycle, Dress-to-live collects the shoes and separates the parts for compost and mixed waste, while also feeding worms with the organic parts.

4% of the sale is donated to non-profit organizations which support the environment or animal welfare.

Dress-to-live is also working on a new prototype made with 100% recycled nylon from fishing nets, and will soon launch a crowdfunding campaign for this new product.

Main activity field:

Main results: 
  • All 12 parts are made from natural materials
  • No seasonal shoes, so no wastage in production
  • Cruelty-free shoes, as no use is made of animal based products
  • Soles can be composted up to 100 % in very short periods of time (12 to 36 months under optimum conditions), and in complete absence of phytotoxicity
  • Colouring plants are cultivated, harvested and dried before the extraction of natural pigments 
  • Maximum use of natural resources
  • Clear and accessible supply chain​: all suppliers are local firms and artisans
  • All suppliers are sensitive to the environmental and workers' issues.