Sole sustainability

UPCYCLED SNEAKERS WITH AN INNOVATIVE RECYCLABLE SOLE

The project

Since 2016 Peterson Stoop is repairing secondhand Nike, Adidas and Converse shoes. They replace the soles and by doing this they give the shoes a new life. By adding a new design to the shoes, people see the beauty and value of the old and worn shoes. Peterson Stoop are always searching for a more sustainable solution in their production process. The Worth Partnership made it possible to collaborate with Givans Fondi. Givans Fondi is specialized in TPU sole production. Together they are creating a TPU sole that is recyclable. This material minimises wast during production, because all offcuts can be reused. Follow our sustainability journey.

PETERSON STOOP (Netherlands)

PETERSON STOOP genderless footwear brand based in Amsterdam. Currently all products are designed and produced by the founders Jelske Peterson and Jarah Stoop. They recycle and upcycle sneakers that would otherwise have been thrown away. Both founders are MA and BA graduates from ArtEZ, University of Arts, Arnhem and The Royal College of Art, London. Their work is backed up by the numerous collaborative projects they have been involved in, working at a shoe repair shop and leather tannery.

Givans Fondi sas (Italy)

GIVANS FONDI SAS specialises in the production of soles. The company also has the EU eco-label certificate. Givans Fondi was established in 1994 in Sant’Elpidio a Mare, Italy. In 2011, they moved their factory to Monte Urano, in Marche, Italy. They produce soles for men and women from diverse materials (TPU, PVC and TR) and can also make personalised colours.

STORYTELLING

THE IDEA:

Peterson Stoop has been working in footwear since 2013. In 2016 they conceived an idea how to reuse secondhand sneakers. Since that time, they have been searching for more sustainable materials. That is how they came to work with Givans Fondi, because they produce soles with TPU, a material that can be recycled.

THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:

When we first started Peterson Stoop, we designed bags and shoes, we were very naïve, and we had no idea about fashion and production. We thought we could make shoes like Louboutin and produce them in our own little factory and be happy. When we had our first order, from a museum for a fashion exhibition we were asked to make 25 pairs of shoes. Having to make 25 pairs was such an eyeopener, we knew we had to change our whole take on design in combination with production. Because the materials we were using were dangerous for our health and bad for the environment. At the end of a full day of production we felt physically drained because of the fumes we had been inhaling. In 2015 we started using vegetable tanned leather, water-based glues and we even had our own laces woven because we could not find any good bio cotton laces. We designed a collection of whole cut oxfords and reimagined the materials and the production techniques. We also came up with our signature asymmetrical sole unit. We called all our suppliers and asked them to tell us about the materials and their origin, but we were met with a lot of resistance, but we kept going. We presented the collection at Paris Fashion week, we had great response but no sales. We were sitting in our studio scratching our heads, contemplating our next move. Jelske was wearing a pair of Nike Air Force
1’s and we decided to take our new asymmetrical sole unit and put it on the Air Force 1’s, the birth of the repairable sneaker. Once we posted it on YouTube and Instagram, we had buyers emailing us instantly. Once we found this direction, we knew using secondhand shoes and responsible materials would be a constant part of our DNA.

THE CREATIVE PROCESS:

Working with Givans Fondi was a great pleasure. We had the luxury that they had arranged an English speaking i intermediary. Therefore, it was quite simple to discuss our ideas and goals.
We had a clear idea from the beginning and Givans Fondi was very willing to find solutions to make it happen.

THE COLLABORATION:

Without the Worth Partnership Peterson Stoop and Givans Fondi would not have been able to work together. For Peterson Stoop it was a great step forward. Their products have become more professional and more sustainable. Hopefully, we have inspired Givans Fondi to look for more sustainable collaborations in the future.

THE FUTURE:

We are positive about the future. The corona virus has made us more aware of the importance of our mission. It is as if somebody held a great big mirror up, and now we can’t un-see what we
have seen. The whole situation has shown us that that there is still so much to learn and so much to change regarding the fashion system. We are developing new ideas, looking for collaborations and trying to make positive changes to how our company works and produces.

THE MESSAGE:

Never work alone. Build a team of supportive but critical people. There is no other option than collaboration. We need to work together to make a change, to learn and to grow. Stay curious,
be open minded and collaborate. Watch your ideas flourish.

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