OAT: Shoes that bloom

Written by on November 30, 2012 in Fashion, Men - No comments

Today’s world is about making things easier and easier thanks to the fast development of technique, while at the same time it’s more complex because of all the access that is new to us. Add some negative trends and suddenly the doom scenario exists in your head: the planet is going down and I am still on it! Feel the squeeze? Products can no longer be just nice or beautiful and questions keep on coming. Why would I buy this? What is good for me and my environment? Only answers in clear language please.

This subject is nothing new, but so enormous. And who to follow? Myself, my peers, my Facebook friends, my brands, the media, the scientists or the people I make a connection with because of the clear choices they make?

Let’s try the latter one. The people at OAT Shoes are such people. They produce and sell sustainable sneakers made of natural materials like hemp, bio-cotton and cork, together with some biodegradable plastics. Biodegradable? Yes, once (completely) worn out, you put the shoes in the ground or compost them and they bloom! Special wildflower seeds are hidden in the tongue of the shoe.

Dutch designer Christiaan Maats started in 2010 from an idealistic point of view: ‘there was no fully biodegradable shoe yet and I thought there should be. It naturally seemed like a challenge to combine fashionable sneakers and sustainability. I started with some research on the materials and later Dirk Jan Oudshoorn joined to incorporate strategy and finance to become OAT Shoes as it is now.’

OAT Shoes’ vision is clear. They have made a choice: “The future of fashion lies in a reconciliation between nature and industry. OAT Shoes strives to lead the way to that future.” OAT shoes sees choices of mankind as part of nature and nature is whole. If something is taken, something has to be given back. They want to close the loop.

The shoes are simple and clean with a special natural touch, like their vision. It’s all one and that’s visible, even sensible in everything they do. The core values of the company are symbolized in its logo: a circle, a triangle and a plus sign representing unity, creation and inspiration.

Their online brochure is so easy to read and explains you in simple words the ‘technical’ story behind the shoes.  And yes, they do have impact too. The Virgin Collection (OAT’s first shoes) saves 99% on water and 60% on CO2 compared to a normal canvas sneaker.

OAT Shoes makes life a bit simpler. Why? Just buy a pair of OAT’s, wear them and put them back where they came from: soil ground. That’s all and you even get a nice flower back. Think about it, how complete, how beautiful!

OAT shoes are available for men and women in stores in Belgium and The Netherlands and available online with shipment throughout Europe.

About the Author

Floris Loeff

Floris is an Amsterdam based explorer of authentic life. He’s curious for new things that touch earth and have a true impact on human kind. He tries to open his mind every day and approaches the world with the most holistic view possible. Not always easy. His work is currently at THNK, Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership. Besides that, he likes to be on the move, run in nature, spend time on a surfboard, eat simple food, watch odd films and read nice stories.

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