by , 11/19/06

Terraplana, Terra Plana, Galahad Clark, Charles Bergman, Eco-friendly shoes, Worn Again, recycled material shows, environmentally friendly shoes

Despite the stereotypes, “eco-friendly footwear” doesn’t have to mean hemp sandals or Birkenstocks. British shoe company Terra Plana has been putting its own unique stamp on eco-friendly style since 2001, with their quirky shoes made from environmentally sustainable materials like recycled rubber, vegetable tanned leathers, and recycled Pakistani quilts.

Terra Plana was initially founded in 1989 in Holland by sculptor Charles Bergman. The shoe designs caught the eye of Clark’s, which eventually invested in the company. Galahad Clark joined the Terra Plana team as Joint Managing Director in 2001 and their eco-friendly shoes have been making headlines ever since.

In 2004, Terra Plana met up with Anti-Apathy and the following year Worn Again was born. Worn Again creates new trainers from recycled materials that would otherwise end up in landfills. They aim to improve social, economic and environmental conditions in regions where they operate, building a profitable business with the coolest recycled shoes around.

+ Terra Plana

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  1. Inhabitat » SUSTA... June 22, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    […] + Terra Plana + Terra Plana Ethical Policy + Terra Plana on Inhabitat […]

  2. realist January 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    to all the vegans and similars complaining out there… no one is making you buy the shoes. Get over it. Its not a perfect world and never will be. At least this is a good try by using RECYCLED items to make their products…

  3. tickle July 23, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    can anyone tell me the difference between the vivo barefoot trainers and me resoling my trainers with car tire treads?

  4. Inhabitat » ANDRE... June 24, 2007 at 5:29 am

    […] off introducing you to Martin Margiela Artisanal to coincide with Reclaiming Design. We touched on Terra Plana’s recycled Worn Again trainer in our recent interview on sustainability and manufacturing. And in the most recent weeks we […]

  5. solange June 4, 2007 at 10:15 am

    Terra Plana exploits chinese labour in the same manner as Nike, GAP, Walmart, etc.
    IMO people are part of this planet and deserve to be protected the same way as other
    species and natural eco-systems do.

    I personally will never buy a pair of Worn Again shoes until they stop using Sweatshop
    Labour – period.

    Besides, Terra Plana is not the only game in town. Yellow Port out of Brazil was making eco-friendly
    shoes way before these guys. They’ve got more styles, a better product and a labour force
    that isn’t forced to live on site at the manufacturing plant. Celio Caetano (owner) is a hero
    in the Brangus region, mainly because he’s helped eradicate child labour in that part of Brazil.

    There’s also Fluevogs, which have a few green styles and I’m pretty sure they manufacture out of
    an old Bata plant in Poland. (ie. European Labour standards).

    In other words, with a little research, a smart consumer can still find an environmentally sensitive
    and ethically produced shoe.


  6. Inhabitat » MANUF... June 3, 2007 at 11:37 am

    […] the issue is not as simple as boycotting the goods of a whole country. Terra Plana, which we have covered here before, recently was caught in the quagmire when raked over the coals in the British press about their […]

  7. Inhabitat » PROJE... April 23, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    […] dress by Romy Scheroder. Terra Plana shoes. […]

  8. KC April 19, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    Not to bring this back to the leather debate but meat eater or not the leather goods that we as consumers buy are for the most part hides that are waste from meat packing facilities and would otherwise end up in a landfill.

    So don’t hate leather because you think animals are killed for it hate the meat demand itself if that stops then leather costs will go up and alternatives will need to sourced. As of now though companies get hides from facilities at bottom prices and then turn it into a long lasting material.

    Is it better to buy shoes that do not last a long time and you have to end up buying five of them over the course of three years or is it better to buy one made out of leather which will last you that amount of time or even longer?

  9. Tim Brennan March 16, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    They’re out. Check out http://www.vivobarefoot.com – new website…

  10. Shaun Morrison January 20, 2007 at 7:17 am


    Actually, as I understand it the foot is indeed designed to walk barefoot, it’s just we’ve been conditioned with cushioned soles.

    I have a pair of VIVObarefoot shoes/trainers – they are seriously amazing. They are incredibly well manufactured with kevlar soles and side-stiching. The traction has never been a problem and I have never slipped up whilst running in them, and I do use them for everything (unfortunately the somewhat stink now). Also (this is a big one) they are amazingly comfortable – I have really wide and flat feet, these are the only shoes that have EVER fitted me correctly.

    I have to admit, it takes about a month to become acclimatised to walking with minimal cushioning, but once you do you may never go back – wearing other shoes after these feels so ‘artificial’.

    I am really very irritated about them running out of stock as I would like another pair. Word is that their new range will be coming in around mid-Feb- early March.

  11. hot*finds at LIFE*FEVER January 3, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    […] Eco-Friendly Footwear by Terra Plana. via inhabitat […]

  12. devin December 30, 2006 at 6:30 pm

    the Terraplana ‘barefoot’ sole design confuses me.

    the vast majority of people using full-cover shoes walk on constantly very hard surfaces.
    the foot is not designed to walk on such surfaces, and to forcefully evolve it to be so is ridiculous.
    want a world covered in concrete and asphalt?

    if you are outdoors, the shoes are useless because they offer no traction, whereas a good sandal like chaco etc. will perform with amazing results, or you could go barefoot!

    if your inside on carpets and wearing the ‘vivabarefoot’ shoes, then you should take your shoes off, because wearing shoes inside is absurd.

    all in all, ‘vivabarefoot’ is a silly idea.

    what works, are custom-fit insoles, if you are using a full cover shoe.
    the crappiest shoe will become incredible if you replace the insole with a custom-fit one.

  13. Cj December 11, 2006 at 11:48 am

    theyre great! but what about the price?

  14. dillon November 27, 2006 at 2:06 am

    Just to throw in my two cents… there is a brand called Simple Shoes that has a line of shoes called Green Toe that are totally sustainable and don’t use any leather in them. I wear the Loafs and they are pretty great!

  15. Rosie Budhani November 22, 2006 at 11:42 am

    Hi all,

    Thanks very much for all your comments about Terra Plana, I work for Terra Plana in the UK at the head office in London.

    As regards to using leather in our shoes, Terra Plana are not a Vegan footwear company, the majority of the leather we use is either recycled or is E-leather. We do have one Vegan Worn Again trainer which can be seen on our website http://www.terraplana.com or on http://www.wornagain.co.uk.

    The boots featured above are a few seasons old and regretfully we don’t have any more in stock, I will pass on all your comments to our design and retail teams and maybe we can convince them to bring them back next season!

    Thanks again for all your support and I look forward to reading more comments and suggestions.

    Thanks again

    Rosie x

  16. Alexis November 20, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    Kathy – I love those boots as well but it seems that those websites (bestshopping and the terra plana site) no longer sell them and I searched but was not able to track them down to purchase online. If you find a place that still carries them, please let me know, I would really appreciate it.


  17. J. November 20, 2006 at 5:50 pm

    I’m a confirmed omnivore. That said, be it leather or, of more concern to me, cast-off car seats and TIRES, any company that recycles what would otherwise go to landfill definitely gets my vote! — and, whenever possible, my $’s too. What makes Terra Planna particularly impressive (IMHO) is that their products are good looking, thus ensuring ‘best success’ for these recycled materials!

    Thanks Jill for making me aware of them :-)

  18. stephanie November 20, 2006 at 5:02 pm

    YAY for Terra Plana boots ! I just bought a pair from the New York store a few weeks ago- the cowboy style with recycled blankets on the back . They are absolutely fabulous. The leather is very soft and has already stretched to fit better, the soles are comfortable , and the blanket pattern on the back gives a great punch that is totally original to each shoe. Even as a poor interior design student in richmond virginia ( at vcu ) i realized the quality of these shoes and splurged for $260. im hungry but i dont regret it. congratulations to these guys for seamlessly blending economical and beautiful design.

  19. Jill November 20, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Kathy-

    Sorry for the confusion over these boots – they are definitely made by Terra Plana and they are called Jana boots. They retail for GBP 69.45 on Bestshoppingonline.co.uk, and were featured in Daily Candy last year. I don’t really know why Terra Plana took them off their website, I guess they must be last year’s stock and they aren’t making them again this year? It’s a bummer, because this is hands down my favorite Terra Plana style. At least you can still find them online if you dig hard enough.

  20. Kathy November 20, 2006 at 12:00 pm

    I love the boots featured above! But I’m not finding them on the website. What are they called, and are they still available? More information, please.

  21. Jill Danyelle November 19, 2006 at 4:35 pm

    Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinions and feelings on this. Leather use and veganism is certainly an issue that seems to get people riled up. I respect peoples rights to choose what is best for them. I have answered most of these questions before in my post below:


    But briefly, I also would like to see a change in animal agriculture. I respect people’s rights to live however they want. I do not eat meat and poultry. However, If I did, I would look for the many free-range and organic options that are now out there. My view is that leather is currently a waste product and if vegetable tanning is used, it can be more friendly to the environment than some other options such as “pleather”. I think the market needs to provide options for the myriad lifestyles that exist and the press needs to cover those options and allow each consumer to make informed decisions that best suit their own needs.

    Until next week,

    Jill Danyelle

  22. Jill November 19, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Bob-

    I totally agree with you here about leather – and as a vegan – please realize that I don’t support or condone the use of leather at all. That said, 99% of the shoe industry uses leather as a major material, and this is not going to change overnight. You should support the fact that Terra Plana Worn Again uses very little leather, and the leather that they do use comes from recycled leather car seats. Most of the materials in these shoes are not leather but are recycled blankets and car tires. These shoes are more sustainable than 99.9% of whats on the market right now and deserve people’s support.

    Next week we’ll cover vegan fashion, so stay tuned.


  23. Bob November 19, 2006 at 3:26 pm

    There’s nothing sustainable about animal agriculture and the use of leather.

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