The Bendy Shoe: 6x Less Carbon Emissions
From online retailer, Ashbury Skies comes the environmentally conscious shoe, The Bendy. Founders, Yvette Turner and Mary Sue, notice a gap in the marketplace for a women's everyday sneaker and flat that offered a lower environmental impact and have delivered.
The Bendy’s goal was achieved with CO2 emissions accumulating to 4.5 lbs per pair compared to an industry average of 30 lbs. Smart design, material selection, product engineering and manufacturing location all attributed to creating a better shoe.
The pattern has been efficiently designed to limit material waste in the manufacturing process and features a minimalist design that eliminates the need for additional hardware. By stitching the upper of the shoe to the sole, they have also eliminated the use of toxic adhesives making the working environment safe for the craftsmen and women in the Los Angeles based factory. By setting up manufacturing domestically, they have been able to significantly reduce carbon emissions and is perhaps the most notable aspect of their product. Additionally all shoes are made to order hence reducing the risk of created excess.
A high-five to the team for delivering a shoe that is elegantly designed and instantly recognizable. Made with in the U.S. is awesome and posting actual CO2 emissions of the shoe proves that this product has serious ecological roots. While leather can be a pretentious material choice for an eco based product, they have done their homework, and are providing a carefully selected material. Besides, leather is one of the most comfortable and longest lasting materials used in footwear.
Thoughts on where to expand:
This shoe is mostly an eco minded product and would like to see them take it to the next level by providing some innovation in their delivery channels, product design and revenue models, particularly ideas that reflect Circular Economy principles. Inherently, the weak link in the product is the midsole/ outsole, it would be great to see a process that they could deploy that would allow their product to be resoled especially with their manufacturing being based in the States. This would help to divert waste and potentially grow lifetime value. There is certainly some areas to improve upon but ultimately a very inspiring product that provides a great alternative for those looking to reduce their impact when purchasing their next pair of flats.