Designed in New Zealand & crafted from some of the most highly renewable plant-based materials in the world.
All components and materials are designed and crafted so the shoes can biodegrade and meet the relevant ISO standards for casual footwear including abrasion and slip resistance, flexibility and tear strength.
All are tested for pollutants so that the shoes meet the level required for certification. This assures us that our shoes are as safe as possible.
The Orba sole is designed to biodegrade, but only when you’re ready, after the useful life of the shoe. As with all things, biodegradation occurs only in a suitable micro-organism rich environment, and then the sole will break down at its own pace.
Traces of titanium dioxide and zinc, naturally occurring compounds that are also used in sunscreens, are necessary to help with colour, colour fastness and UV resistance are not biodegradable, and delay the ability of the sole to start to degrade during the life of the shoe.
Beeswax, which is biodegradable, and traces of pine resin and sulphur, which are natural preservatives and are not biodegradable, are added improve the performance of the sole during its usable life.
The coring in the forefoot is moulded in a lateral wave pattern to allow that part of the sole to curl with the forefoot and provide cushioning in the lengthwise and vertical planes. The crosshatch coring at the heel allows minimal flex, and more limited vertical cushioning. These structures reduce the weight of the shoe and add to the comfort, because each part acts as a shock absorber, working in tandem with the Insole.
Flax, Kenaf and Hemp fabrics all allow the foot to breath naturally. They all absorb moisture and resist bacteria and fungi, which is important for footwear as it reduces odour and aids good foot health.
All are renewable crops, able to grow to harvest in a few months, in poor soils without fertilizers, pesticides, or irrigation. Rain water is enough.
Designed for a firm durable feel, the footbed maintains its overall shape while also allowing appropriate compression in the heel and forefoot sections, allowing those parts of the footbed to adapt to the shape of the foot with wear, bringing increased comfort over time.
The materials are reasonably breathable and light, and as with all main components, have natural microbial and fungal resistant properties while still being biodegradable. They have good shock absorbing characteristics, good thermo-insulation for hot and cold temperatures, and as with the fabrics in our upper, they help draw but do not retain moisture, which is important in hot or humid conditions.
The footbed is designed to be easily removable, which is important because it helps with cleaning and drying the shoe, and allows the shoe to be aired after wear and in storage.
All footbed components are renewable resources with low environmental impact. The require minimal land and very little water when grown using sustainable practices. They are all sustainably and ethically sourced and manufactured.