This week we are featuring WeWOOD, a watch company founded by a couple of entrepreneurs and a watch lover who had a vision for eco-friendly and stylish timepieces. They start with sustainable materials – most of this wood is reclaimed scrap wood (read more about the varieties of wood used here). They then fill in the guts with Miyota movement.
WeWOOD established its environmentally conscious credentials back in 2010, when they joined with American Forests and Trees for the Future to help in their tree planting mission. Their blueprint is simple: plant one tree for each watch purchased. Since 2011, WeWOOD has helped plant 300,000 trees.
We’ve had our eyes on WeWOOD for a while. Even aside from their great story and mission, these watches are dope. They really stand out from your regular metallic timepiece. And they come in a variety of tones, from birch to warm red to classic black. We are slightly concerned about durability; we wonder how they stack up against their metal counterparts. Hopefully, we can get our hands on one sometime soon and write a review! Until then, check out our picks from the WeWOOD lineup.
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SEASON’S GREETINGS EVERYONE! For all of you who celebrate the holiday, Merry Christmas! And Happy Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and all the other religious or non-religious celebrations that are going on in our midst. No matter your faith (or lack thereof), this is the time of year in many parts of the world where some of us get to take a break from the grind and spend some time with our loved ones.
The holiday season has also been associated with crass commercialization, especially pronounced during the rush for “deals” right after Thanksgiving. Fortunately, there’s been some push back, with some voices in the wilderness calling for a halt in the madness. Nothing has exemplified this movement better than Adbuster’s new campaign called “Buy Nothing Day” and “Buy Nothing Christmas.” You may recall that Adbusters, provided the spark that led to the Occupy movement with their iconic image of the ballerina on the Wall Street Bull.
It’s been a while since I last wrote about Unstitched Utilities, which is a shame because it’s one of a handful of innovative, environmentally friendly and vegan shoe companies out there. I have featured the Next Day Low before, which features a unique recycled Tyvek upper. It resembles crinkled paper, but is strong and lightweight. As some of you know I’m a big fan of mids, and these immediately caught my eye.
For guys, you can get the Next Day Mid in a slew of colors (more pictured below). For gals, the Hang Up Demi is available in white, navy, and grey. I actually prefer the design of the Hang Up Demi as it is chukka style rather than the Next Day Mid, a Chuck Taylor inspired design. Unfortunately the Hang Up Demi is not available as in as many colors. More pics after the jump!
Every once in a while I get word about a company running a business in a socially and ethically responsible manner. Most of the times they are small so it’s hard to find them, but I try to give them a plug whenever I can. Featured here is Fresh Cargo’s Maasai Treads Flip Flops.
Fresh Cargo, based in Nottingham England, founded Maasai Treads, a project based in Nairobi, Kenya. This joint venture implements fifty years of Maasai Warriors’ experience in sandal making. On the environmental side, the sandals and flip flops are 95% recycled, comprising of tires, denim, and leather. Hemp is also used along with Kikoy, a Kenyan produced cotton.
Much of the proceeds from the business goes back into the community. All the materials are locally sourced, and the project currently employs 20 people in Nairobi with the hopes of increasing that to 100 by 2014. Furthermore, 5% of the sales of every sandal goes toward the Born Free Foundation in Kenya, which supports Kenyan wildlife and educates locals regarding the preservation of wild animals such as lions.
Obviously I would not be writing about Fresh Cargo if the Maasai Treads didn’t make vegan shoes, or vegan sandals or flip flops in this case. For men, all of the denim flip flops are vegan. For women, all of the flip flops are vegan EXCEPT the recycled leather flip flops. They are currently in the process of redesigning the mens collection to make them all vegan apart from the recycled leather ones.
I haven’t given Puma much love on this site but I had to give them a shout out here. The Puma Re-Suede is a reissue of their classic 1968 Suede that is not for everyone but has lasted the test of time. Now, Puma is not the first company to use eco-friendly manufacturing but I have to give them a little extra credit for their thoughtful planning from soup to nuts.
Hey everyone, hope everyone is having an awesome Earth Day 2012! We made it another year, so things aren’t that bad right? Apart from all the wildfires, floods, hurricanes, droughts, and tornadoes, things are going to be okay, yeah? Heh heh (cough)… eh. Well, I am sitting very still in my room, doing as little as I can to negatively impact the environment beyond exhaling carbon dioxide into the surrounding environs. Oh, wait, I am on a computer right now. Damnit.
I don’t know about you guys, but it is really easy for me, when I start thinking about environmental problems, to go down the rabbit hole of increasingly negative thoughts until arriving at a state of despair. But, it is Earth Day and it’s important for me not to be a downer. Actually, one thing that is very encouraging is the existence of this blog, as well as that of you, the audience. To think that people actually care about animals not to eat them and buy products that exclude animal products is very cool. And whether you realize this or not, you are doing the environmentally responsible thing. Consider this – more greenhouse gas emissions come from raising farm animals for food than all the planes, ships, trucks, cars (all forms of fossil fuel based transportation) on the planet combined! This is such an insane statistic I will link to some articles here, here, and here in case you doubt me. Don’t forget all the air and water pollution, rainforests cleared to make way for grazing, and the grain that is used to fatten these animals up that can be used to feed way more people.
We here at Vegan Kicks love to find out about new companies and brands who sorta come out of nowhere and do big, game changey thangs. It’s pretty exciting, especially when it’s an all-vegan company. Or even if their not, offering up an interesting alternative works for us too..
A few days ago, we wrote about Good Guys, who are soon to be putting out some sweet vegan oxfords and boots. Following a different aesthetic, but no less money, is Unstitched Utilities. Instead of going the fake leather route, they are experimenting with materials I’ve never seen used in footwear before. [Note that unlike Good Guys, Unstitched is not a “vegan” brand].
Ever heard of Tyvek? I see it frequently, because my parents are remodeling their house. Builders, before they put up the siding on a house, cover it with a layer of this stuff. It pretty much acts much like a tarp. Unstitched uses Tyvek in the uppers in some of their shoes, like this one, the Next Day Low. This Chuck-like shoe is very plain in design, but the fabric really makes it stand out. It has a crinkled paper appearance. But they claim that the material is tougher than leather. You can love it or hate it, but you can’t knock the experimentation. As a bonus, these shoes have the eco cred, since the Tyvek is made out of recycled material.
Thanks again to our reader Michael who gave me to tip on this great find. These are Blackspot sneakers, made by the people who bring you Adbusters magazine. Those who are familiar with the publication knows that it is very politically progressive with an activist bent. Did you see that cover of Obama with a clown nose? That’s harsh.
Here is another great Vans shoe that is vegan and incorporates eco concepts. The Raglan is made out of recycled bottle canvas and uses water based glues and inks. I like the Wallabee style too. Not sure if the grey one is also vegan, since it looks like canvas… the description is vague, but I think the black is the only one made of “PET.”
This Vans 106 SF PET is pretty sweet. It is vegan: all synthetic uppers + water based inks and glues. It’s also environmentally considerate: the uppers are devised of PET, or recycled plastic bottles. Now, I’m not sure why the Vans site says it is a canvas upper, and Zappos says it is hemp and textile, but I’m guessing that it’s a combination of materials. Still, something is better than nothing! These shoes also feature an injection molded EVA outsole that supposedly minimizes production waste. It also gives them a unique honeycomb look. Click below for more pics…