From field to foot

Who They Are

Have you ever thought about where your footwear comes from? How the materials were made and the people behind the label who work to construct the shoes? The guys at Kyrgies certainly have. From field to foot, the founders of Kyrgies have sustainability and direct community impact built into everything they do. Steve Anderson and Barclay Saul don’t only talk the talk when it comes to transparency in the supply chain, they walk the walk - literally! Their ethical slipper collection starts with a tradition that is over 1,000 years old - Kyrgyz felting. The slippers are produced in Bishkek, Kyrgystan, where wet felting with local sheep's wool has been a staple craft for centuries. Workers and families pass this skill on from one generation to the next and these slippers are one way they celebrate wool and preserve cultural heritage.

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Why We Like Them

Aside from the fact that these slippers are the warmest we’ve ever tried (you genuinely will feel like you are walking on little sun-soaked clouds), Kyrgies pacts some serious impact with their operations, both socially and environmentally. Let’s break it down. 

Starting with the woolen source, Kyrgies works with local farmers who pasture raise their sheep. The sheep spend the spring and summers in the mountains and come down to the valley in fall and winter. Like most sheep in Kyrgyzstan, the animals roam free, guarded by shepherds on horseback rather than fences. Additionally, you can be sure there is never any mulesing involved in the process of raising their sheep since the Alai breed native to Kyrgyzstan is not prone to flystrike. 

There are so many environmental benefits of using animal fiber in products, starting with the fact that wool is a renewable resource. Traditional slippers are most often made from polyester or other synthetics, which are essentially plastic made from coal and petroleum. Sheep, who are unable to shed, preferred to be (ethically) sheared every year for health and hygiene reasons. EarthHero 100% supports the collection of natural fibers with responsible animal welfare practices – Kyrgies goes above and beyond in this aspect since their sheep are ethically raised, mindfully sheered, and allowed to run free before their next haircut. The Kyrgie’s farmers see themselves as caretakers of both their land and their family’s esteemed farming tradition and we couldn’t agree and support this statement more. 

Not only is sheep’s wool a great alternative to synthetic materials but it can also be used in the hand-felting process that Kyrgies employs. Hand-felting is the simple craft of pressing wool together using water and natural soap to create a strong and durable fabric material. This process emits SO much less CO2 than the typical machine manufacturing used in clothing and shoe production. Kyrgies also employs a women-led collective to hand felt and construct their slippers and pays fair trade wages to the group for their work. Your purchase helps these artisans create sustainable income for their families and allows the group to expand and employ more and more women from the community.

We could go on forever about how much we love this brand but you’ll have to try their slippers out and see for yourself. We won’t judge if you get carried away with your cart 😉 

  • Wool
  • Empowers Women
    Empowers Women
  • 1% for the Planet
    1% for the Planet
  • Safe & Fair Labor
    Safe and Fair Labor
  • Sustainable Manufacturing
    Sustainable Manufacturing
  • Handmade

Wool is a natural and renewable resource that can be harvested annually from sheep. Sheep are relatively low impact animals, but can overgraze land if not raised properly. Wool production can also be insecticide and water intensive, but the finished yarn is absorbent and requires little dye during processing. Untreated wool is biodegradable.

This company promotes the empowerment of women by providing safe employment opportunities and working conditions, promoting community programs and gender equality, or donating time or funds towards women’s education and empowerment opportunities.

This company partners with 1% for the Planet, a nonprofit organization that helps promote environmental stewardship. Members commit to donating at least 1% of their sales to the program, which helps connect them to high-impact environmental nonprofits across the globe.

We support safe and fair labor practices when producing sustainable products. This company cares for their workers by fostering a safe work environment and providing their employees with fair wage.

Some or all of the energy used to make this product is produced via renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, or hydropower.

We support small businesses and craftspeople who create each of their products with care. Handmade products are generally produced on a small scale, without the use of large energy consuming factories and production facilities. Buying handmade helps support art, communities, and people’s livelihoods.

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