Red apples, green apples, apple tarts, apple turnovers. Chances are the majority of people have heard of and indeed enjoyed the aforementioned. But how about shoes made from apples? Now that's not something you hear about every day.
Enter into the fray the Sustainable Irish brand Sampla. Spearheaded by a group of friends from Cork, Waterford, Galway and Dublin who became disenchanted by the fact they couldn't find a pair of shoes that ticked the following boxes: sustainable, ethically made & suitably stylish. Consequently, they said we'll make them ourselves. Incidentally, one of the many things we ourselves share with the Sampla crew.
So just how does one go about making unisex trainers from apples I hear you ask. To begin with, the leftover apple waste; procured from the juice industry in Bolzano, northern Italy, must be repurposed. To do this, the apple core, pips and skin are dried and milled into a fine apple powder which is then applied to a tear-resistant woven roll and heated in order to create a weather-sturdy durable fabric.
Following this, the soles are individually hand crafted using a combination of natural crepe and durable recycled PU. For their laces; similar to us, Sampla say no to conventional cotton and a big smiley yes to organic cotton. Believe it or not, there's even more good news, for every pair of shoes made, an indigenous tree is planted in Ireland.
By partnering up with a small family-owned workshop in Braga, Portugal, the Sampla team have been able to ensure that all manufacturing is carried out in a manner that is fair to everyone, including the planet. The workshop produce in small batches, adhere to an extremely high level of ethics and crucially, remunerate their artisans fairly.
By paying homage to the classic tennis silhouettes of the Seventies and Eighties, the team at Sampla have unquestionably succeeded in designing a pair of shoes that are stylish, sleek and suitable for almost any occasion.
Where can I get my hands/feet on a pair?
You can join their sustainable footwear pre-launch list by visiting their website and inputting your email.
We hope you have enjoyed the first edition of our 'Sustainably Irish' blog series. We plan to document a whole host of Eco-Friendly, Sustainable & Vegan Irish brands over the incoming months so keep your eyes peeled and follow us on Instagram to make sure you never miss a beat.