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We recently sat down with Vegancreps about everything we've done so far and what we're doing to get Trash Planet off the ground and onto your feet.

Original article extract from VeganCreps which can be found here.

VC: It’s great to finally catch up! We are absolutely loving all of your designs so far.  Can you tell us a bit about how you got started with Trash Planet?


We met whilst doing a masters course in Entrepreneurship in the UK, our skills and backgrounds perfectly complemented each other (footwear design & marketing) so we started working together on the idea of starting a sustainable footwear business. We spent a year doing very in-depth market research and writing a ridiculous 70 page business plan. In January we both came to the conclusion that the course was not really giving us the support we needed; we had the vision for the business but we felt that our ideas weren’t really being heard, so we basically packed up Jordan’s banged up old green Corsa that cost him £200 and drove to Portugal to get the business off the ground!


Yeah. It was a mad journey really! It was the first time I’d driven on the other side of the road, let alone set foot into France… so, yeah, a 3,000 odd KM journey was pretty wild to say the least. I think we knew that to be truly sustainable we needed to work really closely with our manufacturers and suppliers on a daily basis, so not coming to Portugal for a period of time was never really an option for us. We have now been renting a tiny, and I mean TINY studio flat in Porto for 2 months and have been working every day to develop the most sustainable sneakers we can!

Man wearing vegan sneakers holding a skateboard in a street in the Portuguese city of Porto

VC: That’s so great!  And what about your designs, what inspired the first pieces?


The design process of our first collection was quite analytical. We used loads of websites to look at trend reports, predictions, and patterns and to see what new and innovative materials were coming out. We then combined this with our own style, our vision for the brand as well as consumer research. Personally, I wanted to make sure we’d launch with something different within the sustainability sector. I just wasn’t feeling the super ‘clean’ aesthetics and quite frankly, boringness of them.


For sure. We knew we didn’t want to completely follow trends as the idea of 52 micro-seasons a year is one of the biggest factors in causing the fashion industry to be such an unsustainable industry.  So we looked into timeless pieces and tried to create something bold and individual, but something versatile enough that people wouldn’t want to just throw away or hide in the back of the closet when trends inevitably change.  I also personally love big chunky trainers and I’m always inspired by 80’s and 90’s athletic footwear - specifically in that one image where Princess Diana is walking back to her car after an exercise class and she is rocking a sweater, bike shorts, chunky trainers and thick socks – I love that. I also take a lot of inspo from crazy music videos and films.


Yeah, I love the aesthetic of streetwear so I think that really comes in with the visual style for the brand and imagery that I developed. I’m normally into the more subtle pieces rather than the super hypebeast stuff though but I do have a few shameless Supreme and Palace bits. I sort of floated around the idea of making skate shoes for ages with Holly so we could tie it into the culture. It feels like a little life goal achieved. Honestly, I really love skate culture and I’ve had a board as long as I can remember so that’s why we’re working on developing a super durable skate shoe. There are far too many times that I’ve shredded up shoes from skating so we’re really working on reinforcing the weaker areas. Hopefully as well that means I’ve got a lifetime supply of sneakers that will last forever!

Woman wearing chunky vegan platform sneakers with a streetwear style outfit.

VC: Finding the right suppliers can be a challenge.  How did you go about sourcing yours?


We pretty much just went on a mad Google spree looking for suppliers. A lot of the WGSN reports will have supplier details on the last page, so that’s good if you’re looking for something specific, but we ended up googling “sustainable footwear manufacturing” and emailing as many places as possible. We almost went for a factory in the UK, until they took one look at our chunky sneaker design and said “no chance mate”. We found that Portugal was a lot more open-minded with working with new vegan materials and were willing to work with us in developing our custom sole.


We established our manufacturer and our sole supplier which are within 15 miles of each other and everything else fell into place. We had a few options of supplying fabrics from Mexico, Spain, and China but we felt it defeated the point of a sustainable footwear brand if we were having to fly everything all over the world and we were a bit concerned on how we would know if they were being made ethically. Keeping everything within a small radius also helped with the design process as it narrowed down our fabric options… and made it easier to pick colourways, so we now get every component of our shoes from the same area in Portugal.

A woman walking past graffiti in Porto wearing chunky platform vegan sneakers made from trash.

VC: Your designs are amazing and so eye-catching! Who has inspired you in fashion and style generally?


On a daily basis my style is lazy af! Give me a big tee and a pair of black jeans and I’m happy. That’s why I love chunky trainers, because they are comfy but they can elevate your outfit and make it look like you’re making an effort…when you aren’t. But in terms of style inspo I take a lot of inspiration from films, I love the film Erin Brockovich and literally everything Julia Roberts wears in that, The Fifth Element is also great for costume design but I’d have to say my alllllllll time favourite film for outfit inspo is The Lost Boys. If I had an unlimited wardrobe I’d dress like an 80’s vampire any day!


Oh god, haha. Honestly, I don’t even know. I don’t really follow any celebs or anything. I’m shocking at recalling anyone’s name unless they’re just one of those huge global stars that you can’t not have heard of. I think just more generally, as I said before, skate brands. I’m normally just in a big, boxy tee from smaller brands like Skateboard Café or Parlez with some basic straight legs – and now our own skate sneakers!

A model wearing chunky white vegan sneakers with a split platform sole

VC: And what is your vision for the brand?


As a business, I guess we could say the generic “ we want to grow really big and have everyone wearing our shoes”, which yeh, I guess that’s cool, but to be honest we just want to keep on creating things that people feel passionate about (including ourselves) and never lose our integrity no matter where we end up. In my personal opinion vegan/sustainable footwear has a very specific aesthetic and I find it interesting that the term “sustainable”; which is just a word to describe something that supports long term ecological balance already has a pre-conceived identity, that doesn’t necessarily resonate with everyone. We’d like to change that so that “sustainable” fashion can be appealing to a wider audience, not just die-hard eco-warriors who like to wear hemp sandals.


DISRUPT!! Honestly, I can't be bothered with the fashion industry at the minute. The big fast fashion brands are literally just switching to *trying* to be sustainable because they know that governments (will eventually) crackdown on them as well as customers. They’re only doing it for profitability so I just think the inherent morals behind the big brands are bollocks. It’s just a corporate mindset and I think we should kick ‘em out and support smaller companies that are really trying to make a difference in the world as cliché as that sounds. I really want us to use the brand as a platform to call stuff out in the world and we’ve got some big plans lined up. I don’t want to reveal anything yet so I’m keeping it under wraps for now but it is going to be sooooo funny when we drop these kicks. I’m. SO. Excited. Honestly, I have to stop myself from posting about it on Instagram every single day. Obviously, people aren’t always going to agree with our position as a brand but that’s OK. We want to stand for something and that’s that!


A model wearing vegan skate sneakers sat on a wall with her feet on a wooden chair

VC: Who would you love to see wearing your trainers?


“I’d love to see everyone wearing them! When I next see my grandma I’m going to take her a pair of the chunky trainers to tear up Tescos in! Actually, seeing David Attenborough in our skate shoe would be the dreaaaam! He’s the almighty guardian of the planet’s wildlife, so seeing him rocking our recycled kicks would be such a treat! There are a few people however who I’d pay NOT to wear them… Kaitlin Bennet is top of the list. Trump!....Katie Hopkins can also go and DO ONE too!”


Yeah. Fuck Kaitlin Bennet. I’d send her a flaming turd in the post. Hell, I’d shut up shop and create a new brand if I saw her in our shoes. Start again, people! I mean those views are as archaic as the pyramids. I just think people like that are desperate for 15 mins of fame and then do something incredibly stupid again to get back into the limelight as soon as they start drifting away. Anyway, I ramble. I’d like to see Billie Eilish in them. Obviously she’s a bit of an icon right now but she’s a total sneakerhead so I’d sleep easy knowing we’re winning the battle against the big boys, haha!

Vegan skate sneakers in grey black and white against a stone backdrop

VC: And is there a brand that you’d like to give a shout out to?


SKFK, they have a shop in Porto and all of their clothes are labelled with what they are recycled/made from. All of their clothes are sustainable/organic/recycled and you can also rent clothes from them.  I also love T.E.I.N. (The End is Near) Clothing from London. All of their clothing is handmade in London (I think) in super limited quantities and their style is anarchy meets Billie Eilish meets the club kid scene. Very cool.


Go check out my local @decimalskatestore I always grab some of their own bits when I’m back and they’re all sound there!


VC: If your sneakers were a style of music, what genre would they be?


“I’m not sure about a genre… I guess something hard to ignore, like death metal. Based on design however, I guess from looking at our chunky sneakers, techno comes to mind…I’m always banging out “Third Floor by Christian Smith” whilst I’m designing. It’s literally a sample of a relaxation audio book or something, backed with some hard/trance unz unz vibes. I love it.”




“Not a genre, but in my opinion they’d be this exact song: YG & Nipsey Hussle’s FDT (Fuck Donald Trump). In your face, bold, no bullshit and a proper streetwear brand born from the ground up with our own money and loans. No trustfunds here! I hope we resonate with people really, you know, I think it’s a cooler story than rich kids or washed up global fashion designers popping out brands here, there and everywhere because they have all the money in the world, releasing the same crap over and over again. We’re pushing to be quite different in our attitudes in what is a very over-saturated market.”


VC: And finally, what impact do you hope to have in releasing a sustainable vegan brand?


Honestly, I just think a lot of the brands are a bit limp. I mean, we could have gone for the pure, natural vibe and hit it off with the huge market that are already into that stuff but it’s just not exciting to us. We want to break new ground in areas where no-one has been yet. We want to show people that you don’t have to sacrifice individual style to wear sustainable fashion. To really change the fashion industry, you have to create products that are desirable as much as they are doing good for the planet. We’ve really tried to cover all the bases to make one of the most sustainable sneakers ever. We plant trees to reduce carbon, we work with ethical manufacturers, we recycle sneakers for free and we’ve chosen the best materials around and more. We’re really making sure that they’re investment pieces rather than throw-away.


We also want to show other brands that it is totally possible to create pieces with trend-driven aspects from recycled/vegan materials. The gap in the market we identified before starting this project was the demand for sustainable goods that compete with big “insta-trendy” brands that have a lot of support but not a lot of soul, so we want to bridge the gap between the two and create a step in the right direction for fashion and footwear.

Trash Planet will be releasing their first trainers later this year and they’re currently running a giveaway on their socials.  If you want to be in with a chance of winning a pair of their creps on drop day head to their Instagram where you can see previews of all of their upcoming designs - give them a follow and tag a mate in the comments to get your name in the draw.   We cannot wait to see the amazing things that Trash Planet is going to do for the sustainable trainer industry as they go from strength to strength. 

They are most certainly VC Approved...

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