Ok, you guys are probably wondering if I only design shoes for women. The answer is no. I had pretty much done everything, from kids to men’s footwear, except orthotic shoes. So for the gents out there, this is something that I think will interest you.
A group of business students from Ateneo approached us to create the footwear line that is part of their school thesis. They wanted to create and sell online an eco-responsible footwear which they branded as Heritage.
The design is totally not original, although they wanted something casual classic men’s wear that would appeal to both young and middle aged market groups. So we’ve given them lots of advice as to the type of materials to use and how to incorporate the use of the tire’s interior as outsole for the moccasins which is the eco-friendly side of their project and still make it a marketable product. Our advise also extended to their packaging and pricing.
Just a background, the use of tire’s interiors is not a new concept at all, even if the hype around the use of it for eco-friendly footwear is recent. Mr. Noel B. Box, the mastermind behind our very own World’s Largest Shoes actually used tire interiors when he was just a teenager for a school project which gained an award and was noted then by the DTI for originality.
May I also add that there is no eco-friendly with footwear production at all! Claim to this note is purely pretentious. One can make a pair of shoes eco-friendly to a very small degree, but that’s it. I say this because we do footwear processing and manufacturing and it is completely component dependent, 85% to 95% of which we import from China and the chemical components of which are not at all eco-friendly. It is sad to see when companies tend to mislead people into believing that this is so through their marketing campaigns.
It was a challenge to work with a big group, although the kids were great. Finally the first prototype was done. I used a luxurious aqua cow suede for the upper, with pigskin lining and insole. The sole is a combination of the interior of a ten wheeler truck and rubber outsole. The group was satisfied with the outcome.
Here, Jerald Sze of Straighforward Clothing is trying on the aqua green prototype which he loved so much he bought it for his personal use.Finally, they chose the beige, navy and tan colors. Happily, the group passed their thesis presentation garnering high grades. Sadly though, I don't think that they were able to push through with their online project.
But Jerald Cze sold the rest of the stocks on his website Straightforward Clothing and has continued to sell shoes on his site.