Support sought for shoes that leave no footprint
The 30-day campaign aims to raise $150,000 through pledges to fund the moulds and first production run of the carbon-negative shoes. Carbon-negative processes go one step further than ‘carbon neutral’ activities. Rather than simply offsetting the carbon footprint, carbon-negative projects take more carbon out of the atmosphere then they generate thus give back to the environment.
The Kickstarter campaign will fund two pieces of footwear. The Grace is a pretty and functional ballet flat for women and the Tour is a fashionable, casual everyday shoe for men. Each design includes a 100% recycled cork footbed that contours to the unique shape of each person’s foot, and a 100% recycled cork midsole. Neither contains any direct petroleum-based material inputs.
The Kickstarter project, titled ReCORK: Imagine Carbon Negative Footwear can be seen at http://kck.st/19OB6bd. Donations large and small are welcomed and everyone who donates upwards of $99 will receive a pair of Grace and a pair of Tour shoes when they are produced (retail value $130).
But don’t hang about because SOLE and ReCORK only have until midnight on November 28, 2013 to raise the funds they need.
“Making carbon negative footwear will be no small feat but we’re ready to share our idea and prove its worth,” says Mike Baker, Founder and CEO of SOLE. “We have completed an environmental assessment of our operational CO2 footprint from the initial cork collection to the production of the footwear. Added to the CO2 sink associated with our cork tree planting efforts, we have determined we are actually carbon-negative,” says Baker.
In just four years, ReCORK has collected over 45 million corks from a network of 1800 partners including vineyards, restaurants, tasting rooms and wine retailers, not to mention some global businesses such as MGM and American Airlines. ReCORK promotes natural cork, advocates the greater use of cork as an alternative to petroleum-based materials and aims to recycle some of the 1.3 billion corks consumed in the US each year. In addition, it has also supported the planting of 8,000 new cork oak trees to date.
The joint SOLE/ReCORK project has significant scale and vision but for it to become a reality, they need the help of the community. “We are a relatively small, young business that needs help from like-minded individuals and investors to get this project off the ground,” continues Baker. “I’m a great believer in Kickstarter crowd funding and really hope we can raise the capital we need to get our plans underway.”
The Kickstarter project, titled ReCORK: Imagine Carbon Negative Footwear launches on October 29, 2013 at http://kck.st/19OB6bd. Donations large and small are welcomed and everyone who donates upwards of $99 will receive a pair of Grace and a pair of Tour shoes when they are produced (retail value $130). But don’t hang about because SOLE and ReCORK only have until midnight on November 28, 2013 to raise the funds they need.
“I would urge people who share our environmental ideals to step up to the plate and donate what they can to secure the success of this pioneering project. By making a donation you can be part of our plans – and ultimate success,” says Mike.