Brazil is not only home to the World Cup – but also the world's first sustainable footwear line
Cynthia Tello is working with local manufacturers and designers to create environmentally-friendly sandals and more.
The Unisex Flip-Flop
Ballerina Flats from the Joya da Terra collection.
Joya da Terra Kickstarter Video
Tello is thinking about long-term environmental impacts.
She is working with Brazilian manufacturers to develop the world's first line of sustainable footwear. Called Joya da Terra, this unique handmade sandal is made of all-natural materials and the production process focuses on zero waste, recycling and sustainable manufacturing processes.
Tello goes on to say “Not only do we have our unique handmade sandals (aka ‘flip-flops’), but we also have ‘our take on the TOMS shoe.’ All these styles are unisex, as well!”
The coconut fiber insole (“foot mattress”) has natural anti-bacterial agents, which are coated with a layer of natural latex that molds to the feet as the shoe is worn. This latex, which is also used for the soles, is a renewable material collected in the Amazon forest.
All textiles are made from recycled plastic and the production process uses 100 percent water-based adhesives to protect the health of employees while also minimizing the carbon footprint.
“The mainstream footwear industry predominantly uses petroleum-based products that are cheap to manufacture but are often unsustainable,” explained Tello.
“Many products can even contain known carcinogenic chemicals such as the leather dyes and chemical adhesives. By supporting this line of sustainable footwear, people can help promote a better future for our planet.”
In addition, Tello pointed out that this type of business model can be duplicated in many other countries that harvest coconuts, like the Philippines, India and Indonesia.
Since each piece of footwear is handmade and this concept is somewhat revolutionary, the initial start-up costs are steep. Tello estimates that she’ll need $50,000 to get the product line up and running.
In order to generate this funding, she has created a Kickstarter campaign, which can be viewed at the Kickstarter site. Donations of any amount are welcome.
Those who pledge at least $50 will receive a pair of sustainable Joya da Terra flip-flops.
“Although Brazil is realizing tremendous income from World Cup soccer, the country is at a very delicate stage from an ecological standpoint,” said Tello. “Millions of tourists are visiting the country and leaving their environmental ‘footprints.’ Many of the hosting cities have no recycling and poor sanitation capabilities, risking the health and livelihood of the local communities.
“By giving a new value to these so-called ‘waste’ materials, we are introducing a new business model that would create safe, toxic-free jobs and encourage local governments to promote recycling.”
For additional information about Joya da Terra, visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/306596941/joya-da-terra-a-sustainable-footwear-line-made-in; the Joya da Terra website, www.joyadaterra.com; or the Joya da Terra Facebook page, www.facebook.com/JoyaDaTerra?focus_composer=true&ref_type=bookmark.
Tello can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joya da Terra
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