The global shoe industry makes 25 billion pairs of shoes each year, yet like other forms of fast fashion, most of them end up in our planet's landfills and oceans – so the DopeKicks team decided to implement sustainable design elements into their products by using recycled materials that are both durable and versatile in use, capable standing up to years of wear along woodsy trails and any waterways in between.
The soft-yet-flexible "upcycled" rubber soles come from recycled soles of former shoes, and they are complemented by a sustainably sourced natural cork insole – both able to take a beating without sacrificing the comfort of a casual sneaker. In terms of aesthetic, these shoes most comparable to an everyday cross-trainer like the Nike Roshe collection. Scroll south for more shots of the shoe.
Such careful selection of eco-friendly, high-performance materials makes these kicks ready for anything the day has in store. We know we're excited to test them out when production finishes up in a few months.
Fresh off a $245,000 Kickstarter project, we sat down with DopeKicks CEO Bernardo Carreira for some background on his team’s standout brand, fashion disruption and their massively successful campaign:
Q: What’s the personal history behind the brand concept? How did it all come together for you and your team?
A: It all started one year ago when me and some friends moved forward with this idea of making a super sustainable eco shoe. We wanted to create something ecological, vegan and cool … Then we were all a bit high and someone suggested we make a cannabis shoe. At the time I wasn't sure it was even possible. After a few months and many suppliers later, we finally found one that made exactly what we needed … A few iterations later, DopeKicks was born.
Q: Why did you decide on footwear that featured cannabis hemp textiles? Why launch a product like this on Kickstarter?
A: We decided to go for footwear for many reasons, but mostly because we knew a lot of people making shoes [in Portugal] and because we knew we could do something better. It was an interesting space and we wanted to be a part of it.
Kickstarter was the way to go because we needed the funds to start production. Also, we needed to validate our idea with their community first.
Q: Now that hemp has become a legal crop in the U.S., how do you foresee that shift impacting the fashion industry?
A: We see hemp as the future of not only the fashion industry, but of many other industries out there. This material has super-properties that make it a top option for apparel, car manufacturing, paper, energy and many other industries.
For more on DopeKicks’ products and process, take a look at their Kickstarter video and related content below: