The project is born in the Biella textile district and the product is handmade by a local workshop

Fashion has learned a lot from the pandemic. It discovered values such as slowness, attention to quality and product traceability, and has managed to teach consumers to appreciate the craftsmanship and durability of products. On top of this, of course, fashion renewed its attention to the environment and the safeguarding of territorial excellence. In this spirit, a project was born in Biella, a historic district for textile production and a land of shoe artisans. One example is the Barbera Sandro & Figli shop, which has been producing handmade shoes for men and women since 1968, combining tradition with innovation: “real shoes, with behind-the-scenes know-how, they are made using traditional techniques and one at a time”, explains Andrea Barbera. It is this shop that produces the Valsaar eco-sneaker. The project takes its name from the old name of the Cervo valley and is the result of a synergy between entrepreneurs, artisans, and artists from Biella, to support a territory severely hit by the 2020 flood. Part of the shoe proceeds will be donated to the non-profit ‘Unione Montana Valle Cervo’, to reconstruct the buildings destroyed by the torrents of water.

This sneaker, which was born from the winning idea of the ‘Maestro di Mestiere’ award promoted by the ‘Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Biella’ in collaboration with the ‘Associazione Fatti ad Arte’, is 100% sustainable. A slow production of 12 pairs a day, uppers and components in natural recycled and recyclable materials, dyeing exclusively with plant extracts: these are the project’s characteristics. To represent the concepts and values of Valsaar, the symbol of the Third Paradise will be clearly visible on the front label of the shoe, thanks to the collaboration with the Pistoletto Foundation and fashion B.E.S.T. Of course, the labels and packaging are also environmentally friendly. The project also includes an organic cotton t-shirt dyed with natural extracts from fruit puree, thanks to the collaboration between Madiva EcoFuture and fashion B.E.S.T. The product launch took place on 23rd of May at La Bursch, a country house surrounded by greenery, a natural frame to tell the product’s story. Valsaar is available for pre-order online on the website, in the Barbera Sandro & Figli shop, in the Cittadellarte Store, and in the Madiva showroom in Biella.