Allbirds proved, by taking up the athleisure trend and chucking it into a pair of simple wool shoes, that sustainably produced footwear can be attractive, functional and sell very, very well. It’s no small feat — footwear production is notorious for a poor record of sustainability (and ethical responsibility, too). Today, United by Blue and Sole launched a new shoe that addresses the problem head-on: the Jasper Wool Eco Chukka.
Launching on Kickstarter (and fully funded as of this writing), the Jasper includes Allbirds’s core ingredient: wool. Wool might not be as commonly thought of as a renewable resource as solar or wind energy, but it is (sheep need to be shorn at least once a year). United by Blue and Sole also included bison fiber insulation in the upper, algae foam in the insole, rice rubber as the outsole and bamboo shoelaces.
And then there’s the midsole, made of ReCork, a material created from recycled wine corks. It’s flexible, comfortable and lightweight, all of which make it a viable alternative to the rubbers and foams typically found in the base of a shoe.
None of this would matter if the Jasper weren’t both stylish and comfortable. We’ve had a pair on our feet for close to a month now and can confirm that it is. The Sole x United by Blue Jasper Wool Eco Chukka launched on Kickstarter today with an estimated delivery of July 2019.