WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI
You can now return your worn-out Beyas in exchange for store credit, while also ensuring they don’t end up in landfill.
Kirkwoods signature ‘Beya’ loafers are available in a range of materials, including the new hemp. Images courtesy of Nicholas Kirkwood
Have you worn out your Nicholas Kirkwood Beya loafers? You can now return them to the brand and receive credit for your next purchase – all while supporting the environment.
This is all part of the London designer’s Beya Second Life project, launching in time for Earth Day. As part of the initiative, Kirkwood is planning to take in his customers’ old Beyas and break them apart, composting some parts, recycling others, or using artists to repurpose some of the shoes’ components and re-use them in new styles.
The aim is to give customers “a more sustainable choice, when it comes to the end of their shoes’ life,” and avoid the typical route of having the shoes end up in landfill, given that many of their components are made of plastics and therefore non-recyclable.
Kirkwood has been working tirelessly to make his shoes more sustainable, his “pipe dream” being to create luxury shoes that are fully biodegradable and made out of plant-based or food industry waste. He is getting there: His spring 2021 collection, currently in stores, features shoes that are 20 percent chrome free; a toxin-free, biodegradable leather dubbed Nature-L; and new natural, harm-free fibers.
“As part of our journey towards sustainability we are working to eliminate all synthetic fabrics from our collection. This season we’ve introduced a new fabric, woven hemp, which is widely accepted to be one of the most sustainable natural materials,” said the brand, highlighting a new version of the Beya loafer featuring a chic black and white patterned hemp fabric.
His efforts have just been rewarded with a carbon neutral certification, confirming that the brand has measured and offset all of its carbon emissions over the last year. The plan is to now work on reducing emissions by working with factories using renewable energy; planting 10 trees for every pair of shoes sold; and also donating one percent of the company’s yearly revenues to environmental causes.
Another goal for next year is reducing the use of virgin plastic in our product by designing differently as well as developing and using natural, biobased and environmentally superior alternatives where possible,” added the brand.
The Beya Second Life initiative is available to customers in the U.K. and U.S. via the brand’s website.
Kirkwoods designs are now also available in a sustainable hemp fabric. Image courtesy of Nicholas Kirkwood.
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