When Noël Klein-Reesink saw the sneaker market being flooded by poor-quality shoes with a huge ecological footprint (no pun intended!), he promptly decided he wanted to put a stop to all that. Enter EKN Footwear. Klein-Reesink’s minimalist designs are brought to life by experienced Portuguese craftsmen who get fair wages. No mass production, but a maximum attention to detail instead.
The German brand only works with environmentally friendly materials, like chrome-free, vegetable-tanned leather. (Bye bye, harmful chemicals: you’ll have to find someplace else to do damage!) For the outsoles, EKN designers use recycled rubber or a natural rubber milk produced by the Brazilian rubber tree and coagulated with biodegradable formic acid.
EKN Footwear even has a hand-made vegan collection. The synthetic fabrics needed to dispense with ingredients of animal origin are all recycled. The designers use PET plastic bottles to produce premium microfibres, for instance, and focus on CO2-neutral logistics.