Many conventional shoes are made with materials sourced from petroleum, but conscientious companies, like Native Shoes, have been rethinking that choice, digging for solutions in using readily available and eco-friendly materials instead. For Native Shoes, turning to algae, which naturally occurs in lakes and rivers, presented a benefit that is two-fold.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos
black, green and white perforated sneakers near vases of flowers

Algae take oxygen from the water, and if oxygen levels deplete too much, they can kill off fish and become toxic to humans. Although algae often serve as food for aquatic life, removing some algae from the water makes it safer for the entire ecosystem. But then what do you do with all of this excess algae that has been removed? Native Shoes’ Bloom collection is made using “Rise by Bloom” technology that repurposes the algae, transforming it into a high-performance material for the shoes. The company stated, “The innovative manufacturing process cleans up to 80L of water and 50 square meters of air per pair, resulting in cleaner lakes and rivers, healthier air and featherlight footwear.”

Related: Algae Lamps are a work of art and natural shade in one

teal and orange perforated sneakers for kids on green background
green flat shoe near vases of flowers

The newest line builds on Native Shoes’ classic Jefferson model, with designs for women and children in new colors to welcome spring and warmer weather. The collection also includes the new Audrey Bloom, a classic, feminine flat; the Jefferson Bloom Child features a slip-on, slip-off kids’ shoe. The Jefferson Bloom is priced at $45, the Audrey Bloom is $55 and the Jefferson Bloom Child starts at $40.

black perforated sneakers on green background
white flat shoe near vases of flowers

Native Shoes’ mission is to fuse innovation with sustainability to create comfortable, durable shoes that leave a small footprint on the planet. According to Native Shoes, the company hopes to find alternative uses for all of its products by 2023 in a goal to “Live Lightly.” As such, it has created initiatives such as the Native Shoes Remix Project, which recycles the shoes into playground equipment for local kids in Vancouver. Native Shoes is also experimenting with 3D printing and more plant-based designs.

+ Native Shoes

Images via Native Shoes