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DeCarbonize Earth Project
Our consumer habits is taking toll on the environment. We hashtag this habit #fastfashion . We buy stuff that we use only for one season. The quality of the clothes has adapted to this habit. Most of my t-shirts don't last more than five washes. Clothes we can easily donate and recycle. But how about shoes? Worn out shoes do not get donated as they are no longer wearable. So they end up filling landfills.
Europe’s annual footwear consumption amounts to 2,600 million pairs, which means that about 1.5 million tones/year of footwear end up in urban dumping sites.
The concept of recyclable sneakers is born. How do we make eco-sustainable shoes? We go back to each component. The upper is handwoven by indigenous communities from the Philippines. They do not employ electric machines to weave. Fabrics are woven purely by hand. They also produce unique designs with cultural value.
The inner sole is made from algae produced by Bloom Foam*. They harvest algae from freshwater sources like lakes, ponds and rivers at risk of algal bloom. The harvesting of the algae keeps these water sources clean and protects aquatic life.
Another component is made from recycled PET. It is important that we support recycled PET industries. If we recycle PET but there is no market for them, these industries will eventually die out. The world just produces too much plastic. China is the biggest importer of recycled plastic has already reduced its demand due to lack of market industries for its use. The long term solution would really be to reduce plastic waste. But as of now, we live in time where PET is indispensable.
The last component is rubber. We are working with manufacturers using recycled rubber in producing rubber soles. As variation, we also use SBR* (same material as rubber tires) which is recyclable rubber. For more info : Tampere University of Technology, Finland „Closing the loop: Rubber Recycling“ 2009 Study
It is a long way to produce 100% recyclable shoe. But as of now, we adapt to the current situation as we continue to take small steps by making products with less cost to the environment.
We hope you will join us in this journey to DeCarbonize our planet.
Cordillera Mountain Weavers
We would like to introduce you to our weavers at the Easter Weaving facility in Baguio City, Philippines.
The Cordillera Region
This Region is composed of many tribes located mostly in Mt. Province, Ifugao and Benguet. The Center is in Baguio City where a small group of women have continued the traditional weaving of indigenous clothing. They incorporate traditional designs into modern weaves.
We have used two of their designs in our sneaker collection namely the Mortar&Pestle II sneakers and Mountain Warrior sneakers. The pattern in Mortar & Pestle II emphasizes the tradition of preparing rice grains. They use mortar and pestle made of wood to remove the husks of rice grains. The red/navy blue fabric with stripes is inspired by the designs of the Paracelis-Gaddang tribe in Mountain Province. Red is the color of life and strength. So we used it for our Mountain Warrior sneakers design.
See the intricate handiwork of our weavers for a particular design.
A single weave project takes at least 6 months to finish. Handwoven fabric is our version of the Slow Food Movement to #fastfashion.
Most of the weavers are women who come from the different tribes in the region. Easter Weaving is one of the many organizations that support weaving communities in the Cordillera Region. This keeps the tradition of weaving alive and relevant to the present generation.
Why do we support the weaving culture of indigenous peoples?
We at DeCarbonize recognize the importance of preserving cultural traditions all over the world. We go back to the time when human habits were in harmony with nature. Our indigenous people weaving tradition has preserved this harmonious relationship between man and nature. Traditional fabric is made from spools of thread from natural fibers which is then dyed from natural colors of plants. Most tribes even consider weaving a way to communicate with higher beings according to their religious belief. We recognize the importance of weaving as a reminder that humans are in fact natural guardians of the environment.
Yakan Weaving Community
I am really quite excited to introduce the Spring/Summer '19 Collection of DeCarbonize. It will feature the colorful weaves of the Yakan Community based in Zamboanga City.