THE FIRST ZERO PLASTIC FOOTWEAR COMPANY

We’re proud to be the world’s first and only plastic-free footwear company. Our truly sustainable shoes and trainers are the result of a collaboration of designers, ocean advocates, surfers, scientists and manufacturers, all committed to producing beautiful, stylish and eco-friendly footwear that leaves no trace.

WAES story

The year 2019 saw WAES first begin to provide an alternative to the 24 billion pairs of shoes made from plastic compounds which all go straight to landfill. Fuelled by a passion for the natural world and our desire to change the direction of a system stuck on full-throttle, we set about creating a brand of eco trainers that were both ethical and sustainable.

Our logo is derived from the alchemy symbol for earth and the name itself is an acronym of the classical elements of Water, Air, Earth and Sun which defines our manufacturing philosophy of combining science and natural materials.

Our mission statement

We share a vision for a world of zero-waste shoes. We believe there is a better way to make footwear - one which promotes tree planting and works in partnership with the natural carbon cycle, rather than against it. 

Our ambition is to change the way shoes are manufactured and prove it can be economically viable to produce beautiful, durable, and ultimately biodegradable shoes and trainers.

We strongly believe that we all have responsibility to become true materialists. To care about the materials themselves and not how much profit we can make from exploitation or the use of celebrities to tell you what’s cool.

Call us simplistic but it seems glaringly obvious that the current product model is broken.


Our zero waste commitment

Our plastic-free shoes are a biodegradable, no compromise product. We use sustainable certified organic materials and all-natural processes which put people and the environment above profit. 

WAES eco-friendly trainers are made from materials that cost many times those used to make other shoes, yet we’ve strived to keep the final cost as low as possible via a direct model with low margins and a commitment to supporting ocean cleanups, tree planting and carbon neutrality. 

Our footwear is fully life-cycle managed with no waste in the packaging or at the end of life. When the time comes, our shoes will be returnable for a credit note, ground down, composted and used as fertiliser on our own tree plantations.

Our Philosophy

We believe it is up to manufacturers to make the right choices, to strive for a cradle to cradle product, and not pass on the ‘ethical choice’ baton to consumers.  

We talk about our product in the same way behind the scenes that we do externally. And that’s how we started, with a desire to produce ethical shoes that we knew didn’t require compromise or greenwash. And that company can only be a start-up.

We are far from perfect, but we operate a transparent model from production through to end of life.

If you fancy coming along for the ride then please sign up to our newsletter, or our social media, so we know you dropped by. And we look forward to meeting you and working with you.

TREES

Mangrove Planting

We are proud to support the SeaTrees project with every pair of WAES shoes purchased. Our mission is not just to create the most sustainable trainers on the planet, but also make a positive impact where we can and nothing could be more exciting than restoring mangroves, the nurseries of our oceans.

SeaTrees works directly with high-quality reforestation and forest protection projects around the world. Each of these projects sequesters carbon, while also providing significant social and ecosystem benefits. You're not just offsetting your carbon footprint; you're having a positive impact on the ocean.

SAS

Supporting Cleaner Seas

We are proud to support Surfers Against Sewage in their mission to empower people to reduce their plastic use, clean-up plastic pollution, and galvanise their communities to protect the marine environment.

Via beach cleans, education projects and Plastic Free Communities they have made a real difference our marine environment. SAS also pressure the Government to outlaw non-recyclable plastics, and for industry to take full responsibility for their plastic waste.

The Team

The founding team is Damian Quinn and Grace Quinn and Ed Temperley and Jules Temperley.

Between us we have decades of experience in shoe design, manufacturing and natural world science. And we are committed to creating the most sustainable footwear company possible.

Beautiful, comfortable and durable, yet no time in landfill.

Our 100% biodegradable trainers uses only the highest-quality natural materials, which put people and the environment first.

Our shoes are a plastic-free, no compromise product. Using sustainable materials and natural organic processes which prioritises sustainability above profit. Our footwear is built to last with materials and manufacturing costs many times that of other shoes, but a final low margin cost via our direct model. 

The good news doesn't stop there. Our manufacturing process using natural flexible materials comes with in-built performance enhancements and elevated comfort over plastic-based alternatives. Nature has it all worked out, and we are just partnering-up with the greatest chemist of all time. 

All our footwear is produced with materials in our active carbon cycle. There’s no dredging up of ancient fossil fuels to sling on your feet here, and we are committed to being carbon neutral throughout our supply chain.

The result is an expanding collection of sustainable trainers and shoes that offer unrivalled comfort, classic style and complete peace of mind. There’s no green-washing here, just a commitment to a brighter future. 

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