Green Schools Green Future is all about Sustainable living, Green Technology, and Green Leaders. We highly encourage entrepreneurs with green ideas for sustainable, eco-friendly living. One such entrepreneur is Christale Earle, the brain behind the very inspiring Brave Soles – a sustainable fashion brand that uses upcycled tires to create trendy, handmade fashion footwear; accessories for both men and women.
It all started when Christale bought a pair of chunky leather boots. After a day in her closet, there was a noticeable chemical smell from the leather. She knew something wasn’t right. This got her thinking about the global supply chain and the impact cheap, fast fashion has on our planet. Later, she went as a volunteer on a trip to a local garbage dump in the Dominican Republic and saw the damaging impact of garbage on the environment. Determined to help change the situation, she decided to combine her interest in fashion with her passion for a sustainable future and created the brand Brave Soles in 2017. As a single mother and a social entrepreneur, she hopes this brand name can inspire people to see the power of their choices.
Braves Soles uses upcycled tires and locally sourced leather for their sandals. They try to create as little waste as possible during their production. Some people might think what is the difference between recycling and upcycling. Recycling is the process of changing items considered to be waste into new products, thus reducing the consumption of raw materials. Upcycling is a lot like recycling but it converts the old or discarded materials into something useful and often beautiful. Upcycling gives an item a new purpose without compromising its essence. When you recycle, you often make a new product of lower quality. With upcycling, you make new, beautiful, high-quality products.
Brave Soles sandals are made from upcycled rubber tires found in garbage dumps and ditches in the Dominican. Using already tossed out tires helps reduce the waste in dumps where they remain for centuries. Decomposing tires release a lot of unnecessary chemicals and toxins in the air which is again pollution. So, Braves Soles decided to hand-cut them as an effective method for our environment. The leather comes from a variety of sources – some of it is upcycled from plane seats, some of it is the offcuts from custom furniture shops, and the rest comes from a gold-certified tannery in the Dominican Republic that has laid out environmental and labour policies. Braves Soles cares not only about the environment but also the working environment of its employees as a responsible and ethical business. So far, they have upcycled 1,474 tires, which equals keeping 170 cars off the road for a day and 245,072 hours of light bulb energy saved.
Did you know that the fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions? The industry is also the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply and pollutes the oceans with microplastics. More shocking is the fact that only 1% of the unwanted products are recycled, the rest are being dumped. The equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill every second. In total, up to 85% of textiles go into landfills each year. That is enough to fill the Sydney harbor annually.
What Braves Soles is doing is truly inspiring. It has a sustainable business model that we should all learn from. Brave Soles offers a variety of products, including both women’s and men’s sandals and also more handcrafted upcycled leather accessories.
Their sandals are made from locally sourced leather, hand-cut, upcycled tires. They also have a slightly raised heel for extra impact absorption. The gentle arch-support and the cushy foam core mid-sole give you instant comfort, make sure you don’t get tired and can walk all day. Some of the sandals also offer a variety of colours, matching with your fashion clothing. You can wear them every day, everywhere, and on different occasions.
Looking for new shoes for the summer and want to be environmentally-friendly? Buy Brave Soles sandals to look fabulous this summer and help support a female-owned, ethically produced, and globally inspired business. Have a look at their wonderful eco-friendly products and designs at the GSGF sustainable shop:
Remember our little choices can have a huge impact on the environment and our future.
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— Angie Ng