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a sustainable sneaker made from apple and ocean waste – Eline Rey

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a sustainable sneaker made from apple and ocean waste – Eline Rey

Seven years ago, through my job at the time, I first came into contact with Komrads. It turned out not to be a brand new Belgian sneaker, but a takeover of an iconic shoe whose production had been halted for years. Komrads was once the symbol of anti-capitalism and the answer to the famous American Converse. Sneaker and world aficionados Greet and Mark did not want to let the icon run aground just like that. They took over the brand and breathed a new, sustainable life into it. To set a good example for future generations, starting with their sons.

I probably don’t need to tell you that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries. Shoes contribute significantly to this and that can be explained quite simply: they are worn, are incredibly difficult to recycle and therefore end up directly on the waste mountain. Greet and Mark also soon collided with that problem and did not want to identify with the state of affairs. It was high time for change: developing a trendy sneaker that does not harm our planet and that is made entirely from reused and recycled materials.

Less waste and more fun. That’s Komrad’s belief.

It took a lot of effort, because the inspirers had a laundry list of requirements to meet their dream of truly sustainable sneakers comply. A European production to avoid unnecessary international transport was a requirement. No socially unacceptable working conditions was another requirement. That may sound ridiculously logical, but the backstage of the textile industry is nowhere near that ethically responsible. Furthermore, Mark and Greet did not want the exploitation of new natural resources and a major focus on the reuse or repurposing of existing materials.

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They worked on that road for three years and finally found the right partners to release their first innovative, sustainable shoe on the world in 2019. Comrades APL (appel), a contemporary sneaker made from sustainable and recycled materials, designed according to circular principles. The top is made of ecological apple leather. An alternative to traditional leather, for which they use waste from the apple juice industry. The sole of the sneaker? It is made of fully recycled rubber, colored with organic paint. The laces are made of recycled cotton and PET bottles and the removable sole is made of recycled carbon.

Tip: with the code ELINEREY you can enjoy 10% on your favorite Komrads in the webshop.

Recently also saw the OCNS comrades (oceans) the light of day. Shoes made from plastic waste from our oceans, because there is also a huge problem there. Did you know that more than 300 million tons of plastic is produced every year for all kinds of sectors? And that 12 million tons of this ends up in the oceans? Those numbers are so large that I can’t even imagine anything. In order to create attention around the problem and to counterbalance it, Komrads responded in the form of a sneaker. The difference with the APL? The top is made from 100% Seaqual yarn.

Responsible. But also just a grave sneaker.

There is a strong focus on the sustainable character of Komrads, but comfort has not been lost sight of either. Because that is ultimately what you stand or fall with as a shoe brand. And then there is the third aspect. In fact, this is what they find most important of all at Komrads: they mainly want to bring contemporary shoes to the market with which everyone can identify.

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Nowadays there are three sneaker models whose timelessness I personally really appreciate. Whether you go for ICNS, APL or OCNS, there is something for everyone. Each model is available in the basic colors black and white. Whether or not upgraded with a nice color accent. Just dive in the webshop to discover it for yourself. By the way, every shoe is available in sizes 36 to 46. And if you buy Komrads yourself in the future, don’t forget to redeem your 10% discount with the discount code ‘ELINEREY’.

Komrads is all about celebrating personality and individuality. A sneaker that everyone can identify with. We are here to stay for all future generations.

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