We first spotted Springa’s shoes at PROJECT NY via Organico Showroom, and we’re still drooling over the fact that these Italian-made sneakers are created from 100% recycled materials. (Yes, that includes denim.) Each pair of shoes is produced in the Tuscan countryside using 1950s vulcanization equipment, for an extra-special handcrafted touch. So even though the raw materials–Hawaiian shirts, striped cotton, tire inner tubes–may be sourced from Berlin, New York, or Paris, the process is quintessentially Italian.
Check out our exclusive interview with Organico Showroom’s Marc Ernst about the line and what’s next for fall 2012!
Most popular shoe style so far?
Springa Aloha (vintage hawaiian shirt lining) and Springa Camo (camouflage in cotton canvas) are the two most popular Spring 2012 styles–each features one of a kind trim and details that are Springa signatures.
What exactly makes Springa’s shoes distinctly Italian?
Each Springa sneaker is made by hand using restored 1950’s vulcanizatto machinery–the cotton canvas, suede, and linings are individually selected to ensure that each shoe is one of a kind–assembled in a process that takes more than two hours for each shoe using artisan manufacturing techniques passed down from generation to generation.
Are there plans to expand the variety of materials used in the future?
Dead stock 13 oz denim, vachetta (vegetable dyed) leather, Carhartt pants, silk neckties, and cotton sailcloth (cotton canvas from sailboats) are recycled and hand finished in Springa’s Fall 2012 collection.
What kind of person do you see wearing these shoes?
Springa is for the individual–our mantra is “escape the industrial mindset”–people immune to mass trends.
How would YOU style a pair of these shoes?
Springa is all about personal style–mixing and matching pattern, color, and materials. For him, mixing the Camo with a tonal herringbone or plaid pant and for her, the Aloha hawaiian print with a batik dress or mini skirt.
Tags: denim shoes, denim sneakers, Project NY, q&a interview, recycled denim, recycled materials, springa
Reco jeans is taking the reigns as the ultimate in eco-friendly denim, and the more they grow, the more their passion for environmentally conscious product comes to the surface. We spoke to art director Nathan this past spring, where he introduced us to the concept of the brand and showed us first-hand some of the awesome products they produce. Since that informative encounter we had a chance to question the head designer Melissa Santos, and delve a little deeper into the mission of reco jeans.
Denim Therapy: Lets start from the beginning. What inspired you to get this brand off the ground?
reco jeans: This brand was inspired by the childhood of the two cousins (the owners of reco jeans). They grew up with the denim factory and would witness all the scraps left behind that would eventually end up in a landfill. As they got older they came up with the brilliant idea to keep all the denim scraps and have it all broken down and spun into a new yarn; a recycled yarn. This yarn would then be used to weave the new fabric, which is then used for reco jeans.
DT: How do you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of popular denim brands afloat right now?
RJ: We differentiate ourselves by being the only brand to use TRUE recycled denim.
DT: Do you have any pre-designing rituals?
RJ: Before I jump in and start designing, I usually do some shopping and research first. I even ask my friends, fans, and followers what type of things they would like to see on their denim.
DT: Describe the woman who represents your ideal target customer.
RJ: This young lady is very well into fashion. She gets our jeans because she loves the way they fit, and she loves the style. She may not know too much about the environment or of being eco-conscious, but once she finds out she is actually making a difference by wearing reco jeans, she feels great about herself and wants to continue the trend by finding more eco friendly goods.
DT: What would be your dream collaboration?
RJ: To collaborate with Lady Gaga would be a dream. She would definitely add a twist to the denim market, while unveiling things we’ve never seen done in denim before.
DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favorites, and how would you style them?
RJ: I am really loving our darkest blue/black wash, but I am also a fan of our bleached wash. Right now our mid rise skinny is fitting beautifully like a glove. It lifts what should be lifted and flattens what shouldn’t be bulging! This Fall I plan on wearing boxy graphic tees with my mid rise skinny jeans, and knee length grey/brown flat boots. I may even top off my look with a bowler hat.
DT: Do you have any favorite/least favorite denim trends right now?
RJ: I am not too fond of the white denim trend, but thats only because i’m such a klutz and i always end up spilling or dropping something on my brand new white jeans. However, I have seen white denim styled great on a few people.
DT: Street style and style blogs are huge in the industry right now as a source of inspiration, influencing the high-end labels rather than vice versa. How much does street style influence your designing?
RJ: Honestly I am more inspired by street style. Sometimes I even skip the internet and magazine research and I just go straight to designing based on things i’ve seen on people out here in the city. Even all the fashion forcasting sites are showing more street fashion from the different cities around the world. How many pairs of jeans do you own? Haha too many to even keep track of!
DT: Can you give us hint about what’s next?
RJ: We’re collaborating with some interesting designers/ labels. You can expect some punk/ rock n roll styles, but also some feminine fun looks in the near future.
A big thanks to reco jeans for doing this interview with us. Don’t forget to check out their lookbook and shop their collection online! While you’re at it, like them on facebook!
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: eco-friendly, head designer, interview, melissa santos, q&a, reco jeans, recycled jeans, recycled materials, true recycled jeans
In honor of Earth Day, The eco-friendly brand Edun is for sale today until Sunday on Swirl, one of our favorite places to score discounted clothes and accessories for cheap. This sustainable line was begun by none other than U2’s front man Bono and his wife Ali Hewson. Aside from saving the earth, we love looking awesome while doing it, and Edun’s jeans are a one way ticket to style-town. Jeans are marked down to under $50, and other separates go even lower. Several brands are up on the site in honor of earth week, including the organic line Loomstate and incredible handbag line Matt & Nat (all of their accessories are created from plastic soda bottles and other recycled materials). Also for sale, Baggu re-usable grocery bags and super-chic backpacks, and Coyuchi linens. So get shopping, and feel good about it!
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: Ali Hewson, baggu, bono, coyuchi, Earth Day, eco-friendly, Edun, Loomstate, matt & nat, recycled materials, sustainable fashion