If you weren’t aware that menswear could be good for the environment, SAYE sneakers will change your mind. For every pair of SAYE sneakers sold, the Spanish brand will plant two trees, and with 50,000+ trees and counting, it's well on its way to proving clothing and footwear can be sustainably-minded.
Of course, it helps that SAYE designs are among the best looking retro-inspired sneakers on sale today. Made with genuine leather certified by the Leather Working Group, and with sustainable cotton linings and laces and natural rubber-mix outsoles, SAYE ensures it works to help the environment as much as possible at every stage of its production process.
It’s not only the materials used that SAYE works hard to monitor, it’s the factory and the conditions of its workers that play a part in the brand’s ethos, too. Lizzie Sabin, co-founder of SAYE, confirms this: “we produce all of our sneakers in Portugal.
"From the beginning we only wanted to partner with suppliers that respect their workers, improving their life conditions and providing them a good working environment; a factory where employment is freely chosen and where child labor is not used in any case. We therefore focused on finding partners in Europe that work under the same values as we believe in”.
It’s SAYE’s reforesting efforts that are most impressive though. The company has been planting two trees around the world for every pair of sneakers sold, since its founding in March 2018. According to Sabin, “this is our way to give back to nature and to the community. We work with a NGO called WE FOREST. Joining forces enables us not only to restore the trees in the most needed areas of the Planet, but also to empower forest-dependent local communities by providing them with tools for their development and training them”.
At present SAYE only produces one minimal sneaker, but it does it well. Taking heavy inspiration from 1980s trainer design, the brand’s Modelo ’89 model has a simple, sporty silhouette with a low profile off-white sole, a distinctive stripe across the upper and, in most cases, a contrasting heel panel.
You can have every colour as long as it’s white, but individuality can be expressed through that stripe and rear panel, which can be rendered in green, blue, red or black. As for how to wear the SAYE Modelo ’89 - simply throw them on with everything. Ideal for casual weekend looks, they pair well with jeans, chinos or shorts, as well as polo shirts, knitwear or just a T-shirt. Whatever you choose you’ll look good, and you can rest assured knowing you’re helping the environment too.
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