Over the years we’ve been incredibly lucky to work with amazing brands on a variety of projects. Besides championing marine science and motivating you to advocate for it, we’re also a wee bit obsessed with improving the apparel industry and figuring out ways to minimize the environmental impact of what we wear. So when Sperry approached us to collaborate on a limited edition shoe collection, designed from the bottom up with the environment in mind, the stoke was high!
We quickly learned that footwear is complicated to build and requires a variety of materials and features to function properly. With over 80 years of experience protecting your feet, the Sperry design team knew the performance elements that compose a great shoe, but gave us the freedom to guide what materials and processes would be used to make them. Like everything we produce, our philosophy is to strip a product down to its bare essentials, maximize functionality while minimizing waste, and to use the most environmentally responsible materials available for each component. Often what we wanted was far more complicated and expensive of a solution than the industry standard, but that was the entire point of the project….to see what was possible.
The Sperry X Waterlust H20 sneaker is loaded with weird, extremely specific, maybe even borderline obsessive features aimed at reducing their environmental impact. From using rice husk soles to footbeds made with 100% post-manufacturing recycled material, to eliminating useless tissue in the shoe box (what’s that even for?), to making the packaging out of 100% recycled materials and printing them using soy based inks to NOT having those little weird plastic things on the end of the shoe laces that always fall off! What are those you ask? They’re called aglets, and we got rid of them.
But like any product, this is only the beginning. What ideas do you have to make your clothing less impactful? Who knows…your ideas might some day turn into reality too!
As part of this collaboration project, Sperry has committed a $5,000 donation to the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Specifically, this money will help fund the costs that students incur in traveling to conferences, meetings, and science communication opportunities to share their work with the world. It's a hugely important experience for up and coming graduate students and a worthy investment into the next generation of marine scientists. We're so proud to be a part of it!