Meet Komrads, the Circular & Sustainable Sneakers

Meet Komrads, the Zero Waste Circular & Sustainable Sneakers

In Episode 173 of the Disruptors for Good podcast, I speak with Mark Vandevelde, Founder of Komrads, on creating zero waste circular & sustainable sneakers for the ethical fashion movement.

Komrads is a footwear brand that is based in Belgium and has been making sustainable sneakers for nearly five years.

The brand was founded by husband and wife team, Mark and Greet Vandevelde, with the goal of creating sneakers that were not only stylish but also environmentally friendly.

The shoes are made using raw materials that are recycled, certified, vegan & traceble, and are ethically manufactured in Portugal.

Komrads, the Zero Waste Circular Sneakers
Greet and Mark Vandevelde – Founders of Komrads

Komrads also focuses on reducing waste by creating a closed-loop system where customers can return their old shoes to be recycled into new ones.

Of the 24.2 billion pairs of shoes manufactured globally each year, experts say that most of them (97%) end up in a landfill or incinerator, because there are simply too many shoes and not enough recycling solutions.

This means only 3% of all sneakers are given a second life.

The company collects your old Komrads Sneakers and will upcycle them into raw materials to be used in other products.

Overall, Komrads is a brand that is dedicated to creating stylish and sustainable sneakers that have a positive impact on the environment and society.

Check out the collections from Komrads below.

Komrads APLS Collection – Made from vegan appleskin & recycled rubber

Komrads APLS Collection - Made from vegan appleskin & recycled rubber

This sneaker is made entirely of recycled and reused materials without compromising on comfort or design. No natural raw materials were harvested in its production, and it has been officially approved by PETA.

The sneaker is designed in Belgium and carefully produced in Portugal (EU). Its upper is made of vegan apple leather, which is composed of 55% apple waste, 40% synthetic resin, and 5% PU.

The sole is 100% recycled rubber, while the lining and laces are made of recycled cotton and plastic bottles.

The insole is removable and made of flexible recycled carbon, a plant-based supermaterial with absorbing properties.

Komrads OCNS Collection – Made from ocean waste plastics & recycled rubber

Komrads OCNS Collection - Made from ocean waste plastics & recycled rubber

The problem of plastic pollution poses a serious threat to human health, food safety and quality, coastal tourism, and contributes to climate change.

To address this issue, Komrads is introducing their new OCNS [oceans] collection of sneakers that are made from ocean plastic.

The sneakers are created using recycled and reused materials, such as recycled rubber for the sole, 100% Seaqual Yarn for the upper and lining, and recycled cotton and plastic bottles for the laces.

Komrads ICNS Collection – Made from re-used cotton & recycled rubber

The Komrads ICNS symbolized the ‘comrade of the people’. In the 80’s and 90’s they already dominated the streets and many rock festivals. 

Next step: making the ICNS fully sustainable!

Of course the cool design of the ICNS has been retained! New is the sole made of 100% recycled rubber, the fabric is 100% recycled cotton and PET bottles, as well as the laces.

No more metal rings and the insole is removable and made of recycled carbon (Arnetech insole).

Made of recycled and reused materials: 

  • Upper: 100% recycled cotton 
  • Sole: made of 100% recycled rubber
  • Inside lining & laces made of recycled cotton & plastic bottles
  • Removable insole: recycled carbon (Arnetech insole)
  • Vegan: Officially PETA-approved

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