Sustainable Kicks that Kick Back

Who They Are

Every year, 25 billion pairs of shoes are manufactured–but almost none of them sustainably. SAOLA is on a mission to change that, making recycled and upcycled shoes that work in tune with nature–instead of against it. Born out of one man’s passion for protecting our planet, SAOLA asks the question: “Why aren’t there cool sustainable shoes?” A lifelong nature lover, Guillaume (just call him Gee) couldn’t find any earth-friendly shoes to wear on his everyday adventures. With the deadly combination of inspiration and frustration fueling him, Gee quit his job and pulled together a small but mighty team of footwear and outdoor industry veterans. Together, they created SAOLA Shoes–a company that addresses the global need for cleaner manufacturing, and a cleaner planet.

As the saying goes, there is no planet B. That’s why SAOLA works to heal planet A–giving 3% of sales to different environmental conservation projects, working to protect our oceans, forests, and ecosystems! Plus, every pair of their sustainably made shoes contains between three and four recycled plastic bottles, keeping them from our landfills and waterways. From better materials, to better manufacturing, SAOLA has one clear goal: continually increase the quality of their shoes while decreasing the overall carbon footprint they make! Together, we can make an impact.


Why We Like Them

Did you know that the textile industry (aka traditional clothing and shoes) is the world’s second largest polluter, behind oil and gas? Fast fashion is taking the world by storm, with poorly made clothing at rock bottom prices traveling from the store, to our closets, to the landfill–faster than they could ever biodegrade.  

SAOLA shoes are different–using recycled, organic, and bio-based materials that take materials from our landfills, instead of contributing to them. From manufacturing, to logistics, and even packaging, they know every element of production plays a critical role in our planet’s long-term solution. Not only does each shoe remove 3-4 plastic water bottles from our environment, but every purchase donates 3% towards environmental organizations that give back to the natural world. From our oceans, to our forests, to our wildlife, SAOLA celebrates our planet with every pair of shoes sold.

Not only do they create their shoes with the planet in mind, they also give back to environmental non-profits that actively build a more beautiful future. For every purchase, customers can choose to donate to one of their three non-profit partners. Through the One Tree Planted reforestation project, SAOLA has plans to plant over 35 native species to fully restore ecosystems in Oregon. Purchasing SAOLA shoes can also benefit the Surfrider foundation–an organization dedicated to protecting our waterways from pollution. Through their beach cleanup program, they’re supporting the 9,000+ members who clean up trash on European coastlines. And don’t forget the turtles! Your SAOLA purchase could also support Save the Turtles, a 100% volunteer based organization passionate about protecting nesting turtles and their eggs in Costa Rica.

  • 1% for the Planet
    1% for the Planet
  • Charitable
  • Plants a Tree
    Plants a Tree
  • Cork
  • Recycled PET Fabric
    Recycled PET Fabric
  • Organic Cotton
    Organic Cotton
  • Recycled Content
    Recycled Content

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.

This company donates a portion of their time or profits to charitable efforts in their community or abroad.

The company that makes this product has a program to plant trees in proportion with their sales. Planting trees helps to combat deforestation, reduce atmospheric CO2, and preserve the health of ecosystems across the globe.

Cork is a renewable resource, as cork trees can be harvested without cutting down the tree. The bark is stripped from the cork tree once every 9-12 years, and the trees can live for 200-300 years when harvested properly. Natural cork is biodegradable, and can be recycled into anything from yoga blocks to flooring.

Recycled PET utilizes salvaged post-industrial PET scraps and post-consumer products such as water bottles and other plastic containers. These plastics are dried, crushed, and spun into yarn in order to create recycled PET fabric, or polyester. By providing a use for recycled plastics, companies encourage recycling programs worldwide, while adding new value to discarded items. Currently, over half of virgin PET production goes towards making textiles, so by utilizing recycled PET, post-consumer materials are both diverting waste while taking the place of raw materials. This helps to reduce the demand for the extraction of oil, as well as energy used to produce new synthetic fibers.

Organic cotton production uses zero chemical pesticides and fertilizers, promoting a healthier use of land and decreasing harmful agricultural runoff. By steering clear of toxic chemicals, workers experience less exposure to hazardous conditions, promoting social responsibility as well as environmental stewardship. Plus, farming methods for organic cotton have been shown to use up to 20% less water than nonorganic production methods. Choosing organic cotton eliminates the use of insecticides and other harmful chemicals, promotes efficient resource use, and results in a safer products and a cleaner planet!

Recycling is the process of taking an otherwise-discarded item or material and cleaning, sorting, and breaking it down into its basic form (such as fibers or pellets). This material is then used to produce new items. Recycling keeps useful materials from being discarded in landfills, prevents resource extraction due to the creation of new materials, and provides a new life for used items. Recycling can utilize both pre-consumer waste (materials left over from production) or post-consumer materials (used clothing, empty water bottles, etc). This product is made from recycled content.

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