The sneaker is everywhere, accelerated by consumer post-coronavirus priorities of comfort and function. Therefore we assess the material impacts of our sneaker offer, developing textiles, substances and trims that help to lower the impact of the end-use product. We do feel it is important to openly share the position of Yves Carter Studios and the new developments that we are currently working on in our journey towards a more sustainable future.
We have started with a traceable supply chains. We task our tanneries and suppliers to innovate on responsible materials, trims and components. We have a close look at each material, carefully weighing up the ethical and environmental impact of it versus material comfort, function, durability and fitness for purpose. Next to this we limit the number of materials and trims used. Design for mono-materiality or select compatible materials for easier recycling and biodegradability. Our collections are build for longevity and durability via quality material. And we factor in replaceable and repairable parts. We always try to source certified, organic leather and textiles, and longer term, look to switch out of oil-based synthetics in favour of bio-based alternatives.
Our Leathers, nubucks and suedes give sneakers a classic durability, with the inherent comfort, breathability and longevity of natural leather worth the investment. Leather is naturally biodegradable, a byproduct of the meat industry and recyclable. Cattle farming is linked to global deforestation and livestock greenhouse gas emissions. Processing uses a lot of water and its waste impacts soil and water health. Our skins are sourced by certified by the Leather Working Group as they rate environmental supply chain compliance.
The YCS’ leathers are sourced carefully from the finest leather tanners in Italy. Leather is a key ingredient in making our high-quality product. The materials of the Yves Carter Studios collections are sourced first and foremost with quality and responsibility in mind. This is why we have also made the conscious decision to never use any exotic leathers in any of our product. No animal should be bred and killed solely for its skin to be used as luxury good.
In 2020 we have launched our first conscious Mid Top with Pinatex uppers, a leather alternative made from the leaves of the pineapple plant, a natural and sustainably-sourced, cruelty free material. Piñatex has developed a high-performance material with a smoother, traditional leather look. The material has a Piñafelt base, but the top layer is more abrasion-resistant and is 100% waterproof. Yves Carter Studios was an early adopter of Piñatex, launching sneakers dyed with natural plants.
The labour standards in Portugal (where our footwear is being produced) are safeguarded by EU regulations and we demand full compliance off all our partners and has to be proven through audits so we ensure a safe working environment is provided by factory management and under no circumstances accept the use of unregulated chemicals.
All of our rubber soles are manufactured in Portugal. The unique rubber blend gives the sole its properties that ensure a product that lasts. Currently we are learning how to increase the natural rubber content in our soles. Additionally, we are looking into recycling old rubber soles to prevent the used product ending up in landfills. Insoles determine how our shoes fit and feel, the combination with leather lining provides the most durability and comfort. Our laces are made of tough and thick woven cotton, to ensure durability. We have started the elimination of all single use plastics. We are already do not use any single use plastic for our B2C business and expect to be single use plastic free in the fall of 2022 for our B2B.We try to educate customers to buy less, but better. What can you do to contribute? Be precise when you place your order, double check your size to prevent unnecessary returns and take good care of your Yves Carter Studios sneakers. You can really prolong the life of our sneakers by caring for them.
Lastly, we aim to have launched our first shoe made of cactus leaves, a recycled knitted sneaker (fully vegan) and an outersole made from rubber waste before the end of the year 2022.