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Lisbon sneaker startup launches vegan sneakers using upcycled party balloons

Published: 2021-06-18

Undo for Tomorrow, a shoe manufacturer located in Lisbon, has recently launched its vegan-friendly Nuven shoes, which are created from repurposed party balloons and rubber vehicle tire debris. The firm is using a crowdfunding approach to make their sustainable casual sneakers available, ensuring that they only produce enough to fulfill demand and minimize overproduction and waste.

Nuvens are the "next favorite" in the casual shoe industry, having exceptionally lightweight and comfortable attributes while being a responsible choice for concerned customers.

Undo for Tomorrow, rather than using new materials, upcycles existing trash – such as non-recyclable garbage from bursting party balloons or rubber tire leftovers – to make their multicolored sole. 

Natural materials such as 100% bamboo for the lining, sustainably sourced rubber on the toe-caps, castor oil for the insoles, and recycled plastic to form a vegan suede substitute for the outer shell are used in the gender-neutral shoe. Nuvens are vegan-friendly since they are made without using any animals.

Patrick Dohmann, designer and co-founder, said their aim goal was to create a design that combined the comfort of a performance sneaker with the style and shape of a casual shoe, allowing it to be worn on a variety of occasions. The whole manufacturing process was scrutinized in order to test as many high-quality recycled materials as possible.

Pedro Mello, co-founder, and plastic artist said he had been “hoarding” objects he discovers on the street since he was in his twenties and incorporating them into his woodwork and art, so upcycling was always a must for them. 

The sneakers, which are now available for US$91 on the crowdsourcing portal Indiegogo, come in four different colors: Desert Camel, Dark Grey, Vanilla Rainbow, and Black Bird.

Undo for Tomorrow claims that it opted to use crowdfunding to make its product available to consumers outside of Portugal for the first time, as well as to assure that it produces enough to satisfy demand sustainably.

Nuvens are manufactured and assembled in Franca, in the Brazilian state of So Paulo, one of the country's main footwear production centers, which employs over 20,000 people. The Portuguese sneaker company claims to have worked with a family-owned factory that shares the same environmental, ethical, and social values as them, guaranteeing that all employees are safe and properly compensated while adhering to high sustainability standards.


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