Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Deja Vu For Your Feet
As I was reading on of my lovely books for class today, The Ecology of Commerce by Paul Hawken, the author was talking about the environment and how companies need to start making products that are more cradle-to-cradle, than cradle-to-grave. He brought up Deja Shoes as an example. I became very interested in the company so I decided to research more about it. Sadly I couldn't get on their website because the company no longer exits, but I still wanted to find out more about what they were about.
Julie Lewis got the inspiration to design shoes that are made of recycled materials from a sandal that was being made from old car tires. Lewis, an avid recycler herself, wanted to put society's waste to a better place than the landfill. Deja Shoe was then created in 1991.
They had a hard time in the beginning when they started because no one really wanted to invest with them. But once they saw that Deja Shoe generated $5+ million each year in free advertising and marketing, others wanted some of that money. Retail stores like REI, LL Bean, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales wanted in on the exclusive brand too.
Deja Shoes are made from all sorts of recycled materials from plastic bottles to felt to jeans to disposable diapers.
Even the boxes the shoes come in are sustainable. There are no glues or staples used to hold this box together. It is made so that it can just be unfolded and refolded back together. The ink used is soy based.
They were given several awards for their amazing sustainability efforts. They were given the United Nations Environmental Fashion award, the Environmental Achievement from the American Marketing Association, and the Best Recycling Innovation award from the US National Recycling Coalition.
They were ahead of their time for this type of industry because they were only around until 1995. Deja ended up being owned by two other companies. But Lewis didn't give up on the industry. She tried again with company Jade Planet, and anagram of Deja. Today, Lewis has both companies now and new Deja products, along with the shoes, can be found on jadeplanet.net.