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A world with more feeling

Vivobarefoot has launched the world’s first reconditioning re-commerce platform
A world with more feeling

This article first appeared in our Ethical Shopping issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 30 October 2020. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

The mainstream shoe industry appears to put short-term performance and fashion before the health of our feet and the planet on which we live.

It currently produces 25 billion pairs of shoes each year, 90% of which end up in landfill — often within 12 months of purchase.

‘No doubt, the elephant in the sustainable shoe room is end-of-life and the fact that nearly all shoes end up in landfill or, at best, get ground down into flooring material’, says Vivobarefoot CEO Galahad Clark. ‘The shoe industry makes shoes out of complicated materials, bonded together with a lot of petrochemicals that will ultimately sit in landfill for a lot longer than the lives of the wearers!’

Regenerative footwear

With Vivobarefoot, Galahad set out to offer an alternative that puts the regeneration of people and planet first. The footwear is wide for stability, thin for feeling and flexible for strength; it provides a barefoot experience that lets your feet do their natural thing. Once you feel it there’s no going back.

A shoe amnesty

Vivobarefoot recently launched the world’s first reconditioning re-commerce platform, ReVivo. It’s backed up with a shoe amnesty that asks customers to wear their Vivos in, wear them out and send them back.

Customers are then rewarded with either 20% off a new pair, or a donation on their behalf to the Vivobarefoot foundation.

This is just the start for the London-based footwear brand; work is also underway on chemical recycling solutions as well as other circular economy models, such as 3D-printed shoes.

Barefoot benefits

‘At Vivobarefoot we’re on a journey to make the most sustainable shoes in the world: regenerative for people and planet’, Galahad tells us. ‘ReVivo is a super-exciting step in that journey and one of many initiatives we are taking to make sure none of our shoes ever end up slowly decaying in landfill!’

A growing body of research suggests various health benefits of wearing barefoot footwear. Alongside Vivobarefoot’s commitment to its regenerative mission, it could be that the change we need to see in this industry will appear faster than we thought!

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