Vegan-friendly sneakers for everyone!
The craftsmanship of ROMBAUT transforms materials at a fundamental level, creating new material innovations out of stone, tree bark, natural rubber, cotton cellulose and coconut fiber. All materials and fabrics are sustainably engineered – there are no toxic or animal-derived substances involved. For fall, Rombaut is rolling out a line of unisex sneakers made with Piñatex, a robust yet pliable non-woven textile from the Philippines that is being hailed by many, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, as a cruelty-free alternative to leather. Engineered from the fibers of discarded pineapple leaves, Piñatex is both biodegradable and compostable. And, because it’s derived from a byproduct of fruit harvesting, it requires little in the way of additional land, water, or fertilizers.
Vegan-friendly sneakers, how are they made?
Produced in the Philippines by textile company Ananas Anam, the material is the first to receive a “PETA-Approved Vegan” logo for supplying the fashion industry with sustainable vegan leather. The material was originally inspired by a traditional Filipino shirt made from pineapple leaf fibres.
The discarded leaves go through a process where fibres are extracted from the leaves and then stripped of gum residue. At this point, the raw material enters an industrial process for its final stage of production. The type of methods used during this industrial process are not disclosed on the company’s website but it does say that “both the extraction of the fibres and the consequent bio-mass will bring added revenue stream to the farming communities.” The vegan leather has been labelled “super-sustainable” as no additional resources, pesticides or fertilisers are used to cultivate the pineapples that produce the leafy fibres.
Vegan-friendly sneakers are animal free.
The material is very similar to leather. Its very easy to work with, and also very strong, which makes it durable. To play against Piñatex’s wrinkled appearance, Rombaut employed rubber-coated cotton, laser-cut wood, and more conventional synthetic leathers to fill out the rest of the collection, which it dubs a “wearable hybrid of innovative natural materials and manmade technological fabrics.” The long time vegan, Belgian designer’s yen for minimalist cuts and understated palettes is evident in the designs, which include snakeskin high-tops, faux-fur-embellished loafers, and wedge-soled trainers. For Rombaut the person, reducing fashion’s footprint isn’t just the core of the Rombaut the brand; it’s its entire reason for being.
“For me, there is no other way. I think we are really pushing the limits of production. If we want to keep making fashion, sustainability is the only way,” he said in a interview on WWD.com