Here at No Kill, we cover what excites us. And while we’re not Hypebeast, every once in a while a “must have” sneaker comes along that’s worth our while, and yours. Meet the world’s first regenerative sneaker: The DEGENERATE. Unsurprisingly, it’s not one of the big corporations who made this but a fashion brand focused on plant based products called UNLESS Collective in collab with Natural Fiber Welding.
The DEGENERATE is the latest offering from UNLESS designed to attack the problem of plastic waste in the fashion industry. More than 24 billion pairs of shoes are made every year and 300 million pairs are thrown away. The vast majority of shoes are made with plastics and other petrochemicals, which break down into harmful micro-plastics that find their way into our rivers and oceans, our food and even our bodies. Let’s take a look behind the footwear that’s “the best shoe for the planet.”
Streetwear That Doesn’t Go Out of Style
Described as a skate inspired statement sneaker, these shoes are your go to option for a casual daily look. The design, inspired by its birthplace of the Pacific Northwest, features a clean and sleek silhouette. And the shoe doesn’t shy away from detail. Beautifully crafted stitchwork composes and accentuates linen, leather-inspired paneling, and laces with embroidered tips. Completed with embossed platform soles, The DEGENERATE comes in black or off-white, allowing for a versatile statement piece.
In developing it’s one of a kind shoe, UNLESS created with intention. They selected renewable materials and steered clear of unfavorable synthetics. They did this by collaborating with Natural Fiber Welding (NFW), an innovative company that makes new plant based materials. So along with linen each shoe is composed of bio-based ingredients that leave no plastic, toxic chemicals, or pollution of microplastics in its wake.
Sit with that for a minute.
We are choking the earth with landfills full of synthetic sneakers and these are completely plant based >> fully compostable >> planet friendly
Truly Compostable Means Never In A Landfill
So how does this work? The answer lies with regenerative fashion and designing with the end in mind.
Let’s unearth regeneration at its core.
The process involves 3 major components: raw materials, natural systems, and indigenous practices. The fashion industry, relying heavily on agriculture for materials such as cotton, has grown to be a flawed system dependent on pesticides, pollution, and stress on surrounding lands. The process of regenerative agriculture recalls Indigenous ecological practices, purposefully caring for degraded land and its crops for positive environmental outcomes. Unlike traditional agriculture these holistic systems allow for reduced carbon, enhanced biodiversity, and thriving crops.
The DEGENERATE works within this system. Simply put, the shoe is made to break down and harmlessly decompose into the earth. Rather than living their lives out in a landfill, the shoes follow a path of circularity, going from soil-to-soil. With their exclusive access code, you now have a one-way ticket to the UNLESS take back program making it easy to participate.
Through the partnership with NFW, UNLESS has established a sneaker that’s low impact, plant based, and responsibly made that involves us in the process.
It’s a unique, symbiotic relationship between the consumer and the company – working together for the good of fashion and the environment. Here and now, there’s a lush path, free of plastic waste, and full of style. Come along as we walk this road, supporting and learning more about regenerative fashion –sporting The DEGENERATE.
The DEGENERATE is for anyone who doesn’t want to compromise their style to do what’s right for the planet. And thanks to NFW’s unparalleled innovation in plant-based material technology, this sneaker will live a long, useful life… –UNLESS Co-founder and CEO Eric Liedtke