YY Nation’s new footwear collection aims to create “the world’s most sustainable shoe
“Inspired by nature and powered by curiosity, we want to discover the limits of natural materials and create sneakers that are wonder, made wearable.”
YY Nation’s sustainable sneaker collection has launched on Kickstarter and is contributing to the global clean-up of our land, oceans and waterways, with every step they take. Aiming to be the most sustainable shoe in the world YY Nation has used innovation and co-laborative partnerships to redefine sustainable footwear.
Designed in New Zealand and influenced by the wonder of nature, the high-fashion, incredibly comfortable sustainable footwear range uses natural fibers, waste and plant material in every component. Each pair is produced using innovative materials such as fishing net retrieved from the ocean, bamboo, sugar cane, recycled rubber and super-soft New Zealand merino wool.
The Wellington-based start-up company, which places the principle of environmental stewardship at its core, launched the Legacy collection on a Kickstarter campaign featuring four edgy styles in 10 colours.
Founder Jeremy Bank says the company set out to redefine sustainable footwear. “Using natural materials in a purposeful design, we believe we have developed the ultimate sneakers for everyday adventures,” he says. “Using materials gathered and grown, we have created high-performance sneakers with a positive impact. The Legacy Collection marks the beginning of our quest to design out waste.”
YY Nation shoes are stylish, odour-resistant, temperature-regulating, long-lasting, durable and, most importantly, comfortable enough to be worn in the workplace, or on outdoor adventures.
YY Nation delivers worldwide and all companies it partners with are ethical and either Fairtrade or B Corp-certified. It sources materials from New Zealand and across the world, including ocean plastics for shoelaces; sustainably-sourced bamboo and nylon thread from recycled plastic for the shoe’s second upper; and algae bloom from waterways for the insole.
“We use merino wool from Kiwi farms that are focused on producing the highest-quality merino that is ethical and traceable, with the greatest regard for animal welfare,” Jeremy says. “And, we are currently going through the process of carbon footprint assessment. We are using renewable, natural resources, like bamboo, sugarcane and algae, that capture greenhouse gases and release O2.” YY Nation also uses an eco-friendly water-based adhesive, and the shoeboxes are made with FSC-certified recycled material.
Did you know that our laces are crafted from recycled ocean plastic? With this recycled material, we’ve crafted laces that are strong, long-lasting and durable. Check it out: fb.go2.fund/yynation
The journey to launch an eco-friendly footwear company started when Jeremy was on a family beach holiday in Maui, and his daughter noticed mesmerising blue colours in the sand. On closer inspection, he and his daughter discovered they were pieces of coloured plastic. “It wasn’t there 20 years ago when I was last there, so where did it come from? ” he says. He then saw an old shoe washed up on the beach and thought there must be a better way. “This moment sparked my curiosity and eventually inspired me to form YY Nation, a collective of individuals who understand the urgency of creating sustainable alternatives. We don’t have all the answers, but at our core is the principle of stewardship and the belief that the enduring pursuit of innovation begins with asking questions.”