Elliott Footwear: The world’s first climate-positive sneaker

Elliot Footwear| Brands | Saatxa

For this interview, I spoke with Sam, one of the co-founders, who is an environmental warrior.  Elliott Footwear started with Lars Jorgensen and Mikkel Bang (co-founder) as an idea to create a clean and stylish concept of footwear, inspired by Scandinavian design. 

In the beginning, Elliott Footwear was a low-key brand, with a couple of recycled canvas options, a vegan leather and vegan suede.  They were aware of how big brands generate millions of pairs of trainers each year, most of which end up in a landfill.  To avoid this, they decided to have a small-scale production where they create and sell-out their trainers.

Sam talked about how most of their customers are ethically minded, so they have a better understanding of the price difference between their shoes and the ones from big companies. But, what they believe is their unique selling point is their “circular economy model”, allowing customers to send back their much-loved used pair of Elliotts, which are then recycled and created into new pairs (isn’t that great?).

Sam explained to me that creating a new pair of shoes generates 200kg CO2, and this multiplies by five when you consider other factors such as shipping, manufacturing, as well as research and development. Honestly, my jaw dropped a little when he told me that stat!

Their long-term goal is to focus on the three P’s of sustainability: People, Planet and Profit. They want to make sure that they are not only an organization that cares about the planet but also about the people behind the brand. Sam talks very passionately about how they want their shoes to have a positive impact on the environment and make sure everyone is rewarded; he specifically mentioned how diversity is very important for them (giving equal opportunities for everyone).

Elliott manufactures their shoes in Barcelona. Sam explained to me their journey of finding the right partner who respects their DNS and shared their values to build the brand. That’s how they ended up in Barcelona, where they ship from, this way they can reduce their CO2 emission and get closer to achieving their environmental goals. 

To end this conversation, Sam shared with me his views on where he believes the fashion industry is heading to: “Interestingly enough, the drop in CO2 emissions during lockdown was not as drastic as we expected, so we still have to push and focus on the climate agenda”. He is glad to see that there is a growing community fighting for the environment, and how it is very important to reach out to a different audience to make them aware of this problem, and how Elliott’s approach is to use their platform to spread this message.

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