Footwear that comes from the earth and to the earth returns

The upper is made of wood fibre and hemp.
The insole is composed of cork and coconut fibre.
Liner and laces in hemp and organic cotton.
The dyes come from natural pigments.
The sole is biodegradable and can be thrown into the compost heap.

The ‘eco’ referenced in the title, that is also part of the motto of the new Italian footwear brand WAO, the first shoe with the ‘eco’ effect, is actually a prefix: eco, like in eco-friendly; eco, like in ecological.

Not yet on the market but already at the centre of a successful crowdfunding campaign, which has raised over 40,000 euros in just a few days on Kickstarter, WAO is a collective project that brings together designers, entrepreneurs and artists from different fields and different cities in Italy : Venice, Bologna, Rome, and Milan.

There is Claudio Da Lio, who has worked for years in the fashion world. There is Gianmarco Giacometti, who is the fashion designer and creative director of the brand. There is Michele Stignani, the project manager. Erika Moriconi is also a fashion designer, while Tommaso Da Lio is the company’s lawyer. The brand ambassador is Luca Cesari. Marta Galiazzo maintains press relations. The technological part of the business is entrusted to Francesco Pannuti, the management to Nicola Giubilato, and HR to Elena Manzardo.

Uniting them is the feeling that we should be doing more. That taking care of the planet and the environment is everyone’s duty, and they are trying to do their part, developing footwear whose environmental impact is reduced to a minimum, both in terms of materials and construction and because WAO has chosen to adopt an entirely ‘Made in Italy’ production, with a transparent supply chain.

The release of the first collection is scheduled for February 2019, but there will not be the classic “seasons”: “we have moved away from the canonical way of doing things and the usual time-frames imposed by fashion”, explain the founders, who have also decided to donate 4% of their proceeds to various non-profit associations, including LEAL, the Italian anti-vivisection league.