Sole Technologies recently hosted a preview of its upcoming Fall 2011 lines in New York City and contributing writer Agatha Wasilewska was on the scene to see what’s new in the lines, looks, and efforts for the etnies and Emerica brands.
etnies takes the environment by storm with its fall 2011 preview
Words and Images by Agatha Wasilewska
Leading with two distinct and different stories, etnies is bulldozing into the fall with an environmentally conscious outlook and revolutionizing the way skate shoes are constructed and produced. And they are doing it with subtle style and a dash of adultness that is a welcome trend. The clothes and shoes are gently growing up with the team riders, allowing older skaters to dress like adults with a splash of youth.
The new etnies Eco Friendly Collection takes six steps to sustainability that is legit and will make an impact on our environment and hopefully the way shoes are made in the foreseeable future. And they are really putting their money where their mouths are in a comprehensive six-step process:
Step 1: Commitment
With the Eco Friendly Collection, etnies has created an Environmental Affairs Department and has conducted an Eco Audit to guide and change their business operations towards sustainability.
Step 2-3: Energy and Water
etnies has committed to drastically reducing their energy usage from how their offices and factories are run through retrofitting and sourcing cleaner energy. At etnies headquarters in California, water usage has been reduced by 35% through landscaping improvements and converting to a waterless bathroom system that is saving 250,000 gallons of water a year. Combined, the efforts are paying off- they have already reduced their carbon footprint by 14%.
Step 4: Buy a Shoe Plant a Tree.
By far, this is the most inspirational and soulful step of all six; for every pair of Jameson 2 Eco shoes made, etnies will plant a tree to help curb global warming, creating its own etnies Rain Forest. etnies has chosen Costa Rica to plant these trees on the Maleku reserve, giving the local tribe in Costa Rica a new lease on life. etnies is on track to continue planting 150,000 trees in the near future. Through this project and with the help from La Reserva Forest Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the recovery and preservation of indigenous tropical rainforests in Costa Rica, the new forest will help the Maleku to replenish their reserve with the trees that once maintained their community before their land was destroyed by cattle farmers and a violent rubber-tree war that massacred many of their people.
Step 5: Recycling
etnies Eco footwear collection is made using recycled bike tires, rubber gloves, and plastic bottles. How about them apples?
Step 6: Green Chemistry
Last but certainly not least, etnies has eliminated toxins from converting water-based cement footwear manufacturing and created a new way of making shoes called STI Fusion. This process is not only environmentally savvy, but it also creates a shoe that is significantly lighter, twice as flexible, and more durable; keeping down shipping costs, and allowing the consumer to wear their shoes for longer. Read all the details about the process on the etnies technology blog.
While the shoes are the main story for fall, one cannot overlook the apparel and its newest developments, namely the fancy new STI Repel technology on select etnies apparel. The repellent coating is a genius idea both for skaters and for the environment, you don’t’ get dirty and you don’t have to wash your clothes as often. Perfect combination. The rest of the line speaks for itself with functional button downs, playful T’s, killer hoodies and fashion forward fall jackets.
etnies marketing guru Ashton Maxfield shows how Repel works: