Iconic LA footwear label CLAE has made a name for itself as a go-to for versatile footwear that takes its wearer from day to night and work to play. Its sustainably-made trainers are designed for everyday living without sacrificing style or comfort. Curious to know more? Read on for the full low-down on CLAE, from where its shoes are made to how it fits.
CLAE was established in 2001 in Los Angeles. The city's architecture, design, colours and energy have always informed CLAE's design language. Expect clean silhouettes, pared-back detailing and versatile colourways.
For more than 20 years, CLAE has had a close partnership with the same workshop, which is located in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Part of the CLAE team is dedicated exclusively to manufacturing and is based in the workshop year-round, allowing the brand to work without intermediaries and to manage its entire production chain with careful quality control.
CLAE only uses premium leather from certified tanneries that are audited by the Leather Working Group (LWG). LWG awards certification to tanneries that have proactively reduced their environmental footprint by integrating renewable energies, reducing their energy and water consumption, finding new markets for waste, and improving the traceability of the leather.
In keeping with its sustainable ethos, CLAE is constantly endeavouring to minimise its environmental footprint by developing innovative materials through upcycling. Domestic waste that would have otherwise ended up in landfills is given new life, transformed into recycled mesh uppers, laces, linings and soles. Even CLAE's boxes, packaging and hang tags are made from 70% recycled cardboard and paper.
CLAE is paving the way for vegan trainers: a third of its current collection doesn't contain any components of animal origin and the brand is constantly experimenting with sustainable alternatives to traditional leather. One of the key vegan materials CLAE uses for its shoes is cactus. CLAE pioneered the very first sneaker made from cactus, developed in collaboration with a Mexican company called DessertoⓇ.
GOTS-certified organic cotton also features throughout the CLAE collection. Using organic cotton over normal cotton ensures lower water consumption, no harmful chemicals and growing systems that replenish and maintain soil fertility.
Finally, organic hemp is used as it cultivates faster and requires 50% less water compared to cotton. Hemp even has the unique characteristic of regenerating the soil on which it grows. Its fibre is very resistant and antibacterial which makes it an ideal material for CLAE shoes.
CLAE shoes generally fit true to size. Use our detailed CLAE sizing guide to find your perfect fit.
You can buy CLAE shoes online from the brand's own website.
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