The kitten heels, which are making me question everything I thought a knew about myself (even more so than 30 minutes ago when I battled other fans in the Jonas Brothers Happiness Begins tour pre-sale), are part of Reformation’s newly launched shoe collection. The collection launches with 11 styles, including espadrilles, flats, and high heels. “We wanted Ref Shoes to feel like an extension of our clothing so the designs are inspired by the feminine and vintage silhouettes that we love so much,” Yael Aflalo, Reformation founder and CEO, says.
Playing perfectly into Reformation’s aesthetic, the shoes are sexy while also being sustainable. On average they save 52 percent CO2 emissions, 70 percent water, and 65 percent waste compared to most other shoes in the US. “Since starting Reformation in 2009, we’ve definitely seen a shift in the fashion industry’s approach to sustainability,” Aflalo says. That said, when it comes to footwear, she believes more work needed to be done, which made it difficult to find suppliers and factories that met Reformation’s standards. But they persisted, and now we’re graced with sexy kitten heels (Just going to keep saying that phrase out of sheer disbelief.)
“For this collection we used materials like jute, a renewable natural fiber that actually has a positive carbon footprint because it takes up more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases,” Aflalo says. “We also used chrome-free or vegetable-tanned leathers made with by-products from the food industry. We applied our same high standards of making clothes to making shoes.”
The tanneries that they worked with were also committed to innovation. “For example, our smooth leather tannery uses drum dyeing and a zero stock concept, so they’re only dying exactly what they need for the order to minimize waste and ‘deadstock’ leather,” she explains. “Our suede leather tannery is Gold Rated Leather Working Group (LWG) certified, has an in-house water treatment plant, and uses solar energy to heat its water.”
The end goal was not only to create sexy, sustainable footwear, but to also “impact production practices and provide people with better alternatives,” Aflalo says.
In the press release, the collection is described as such: “You probably won’t be surprised that, much like our clothes, they’re engineered with revealing cutouts to show some skin and make you look a little extra hot. Because that’s what we do, goddammit.” Coincidentally, that’s also the exact energy I need in my life right now. (That and kitten heels, apparently.) The first Ref Shoes collection is available today, May 9, on thereformation.com. Prices start at $128.
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