High-end German footwear company nat-2 is kicking up a storm with its latest vegan shoe release, creating sneakers made from real hayfield grass and recycled plastic bottles.
The sneakers are developed in Germany and Austria and handmade in Italy. The upper of the unisex sneaker is made from “real sustainable hay,” according to Design Boom, as well as grass and flowers which cover 50 percent of the shoe’s surface, depending on the style.
To make the shoe, the hay is pressed and placed on to a base layer, giving the footwear a “natural mountain scent.”
The insole of the shoe is soft-padded anti-bacterial real cork and the sections that appear to be suede or Nappa leather (which is typically derived from the skin of goats, cows, calves, or lambs) are actually made from recycled PET bottles.
Design Boom explains that “every alps-inspired pair is unique and the surface will change with time and get its own patina.”
Nat-2 was founded in 2007 by Sebastian Thies, whose family has worked in the footwear industry since 1856, making them one of the oldest shoe dynasties in Europe. Nat-2 strives for “supreme quality” as well as innovative, sustainable designs.
Last year, the brand released a vegan sneaker with cruelty- and animal-free leather made from repurposed coffee grounds. The shoes, designed by Thies himself, contain up to 50 percent recycled coffee, offering a smooth feel to the fabric and a natural coffee scent.
Also in 2018, nat-2 released vegan sneakers made from plant-based mushroom leather and recycled plastic water bottles. The footwear brand has also integrated sustainable wood, stone, corn, beans, and pineapple fibers into its designs.
If you can’t get your hands on nat-2’s sneaker range, vegan-friendly footwear is becoming more popular than ever as conscious consumers strive to reflect their beliefs from their head to their toes. UK retailer Marks & Spencer just launched a range of affordable vegan leather footwear in 350 styles (as well as more than 60 plant-based ready-made meals).
And capitalizing on the demand for sustainable shoes and helping to reduce plastic pollution, sportswear giant Adidas created footwear made from plastic retrieved from the ocean (you can buy them online). You can also purchase animal-free footwear from TOMS online, and for every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS gives a pair to a child in need.
Nat-2’s new vegan collection can be viewed at the sustainable innovation and fashion hub in Berlin on January 19.
Image Credit: nat-2
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