THE FIRST ZERO PLASTIC FOOTWEAR COMPANY

We are the world's only plastic-free footwear company. A collaboration of shoe designers, ocean advocates, surfers, scientists and manufacturers committed to producing beautiful stylish footwear which leaves no trace.

WAES story

The WAES logo is derived from the alchemy symbol for earth, and the name itself is an acronym of the core elements of: Water, Air, Earth and Sun. This defines our manufacturing philosophy of combining science and natural materials.

There are more than 24 billion pairs of shoes made each year from plastic compounds which go straight to landfill and we want to say, hey, there is another way.  

We have a passion for the natural world and want to stop fuelling a system stuck on full-throttle and seemingly intent on burying us all under a mountain of plastic.

Our mission statement

Our vision is 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.

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

We all need to become true materialists. To care about the materials themselves, not how much profit we can make from exploitation in order to pay a celebrity to tell you that it's cool. Call us simplistic but it seems pretty obvious that the current production model is broken.

Our zero waste commitment

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

We use materials which cost many times that of other shoes but have strived to keep the final cost as low as possible via a direct model with low margins and a commitment to support ocean cleanups and tree planting, and we are also working towards carbon neutral certification. 

All our footwear will be fully life-cycle managed with no waste in the packaging or at the end of life. 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 a product 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.

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

Our 100% biodegradable sneaker range 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.

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Made using sustainable materials and natural organic processes

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In the news

  • Shoes which Plant Sea Trees and Offset Our Carbon Footprint | WAES-store

    Shoes which Plant Sea Trees and Offset Our Carbon Footprint

    We are proud to support the SeaTrees project with every pair of WAES shoes purchased

    Read article
    Shoes which Plant Sea Trees and Offset Our Carbon Footprint
  • It's Raining Microplastics... Here, There and Everywhere | WAES-store

    It's Raining Microplastics... Here, There and Everywhere

    A fine layer of plastic now extends from the deepest ocean floor to the tops of the highest mountains, swirling in the wind and smothering every ecosystem on Earth

    Read article
    It's Raining Microplastics... Here, There and Everywhere
  • A Statement on Inclusivity in Manufacturing | WAES-store

    A Statement on Inclusivity in Manufacturing

    We are not exempt from the hard conversations and processes that we need to engage with as a purpose-driven company.

    Read article
    A Statement on Inclusivity in Manufacturing