Lisbon Sneaker Startup Launches Vegan Kicks Made From Upcycled Party Balloons

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Lisbon-based sneaker brand Undo for Tomorrow has recently launched its vegan-friendly Nuven sneakers made from upcycled party balloons and waste from rubber car tyres. The startup is making their sustainable casual sneakers available through a crowdfunding system to responsibly ensure that they only make enough to meet the demand, avoiding overproduction and extra waste creation. 

Nuvens are dubbed by the startup as the “next favourite” in the casual sneaker world, boasting super lightweight and comfort qualities, yet still a responsible choice for conscious consumers. Instead of being made from new materials, Undo for Tomorrow upcycles existing waste – such as discards from popped party balloons that aren’t recyclable or leftovers from rubber tyres – to create their multicoloured sole. 

The gender-free shoe itself features natural materials such as 100% bamboo for its lining, sustainably-sourced rubber on the toe-caps, caster oil for the insoles and recycled plastic to make a vegan suede alternative for the outer shell. Nuvens are entirely animal-free and suitable for vegans. 

Nuven sneakers by Undo for Tomorrow. (Image: Undo for Tomorrow)

The entire making-process was thoroughly reviewed so we could test as many quality recycled materials as possible.

Patrick Dohmann, Co-Founder & Designer, Undo for Tomorrow

“Our aim was to come up with a design that combines the comfort you normally see in a performance sneaker with the style and shape of casual shoes, so you could wear it on different occasions,” said designer and co-founder Patrick Dohmann. 

“The entire making-process was thoroughly reviewed so we could test as many quality recycled materials as possible.”

“Since my twenties, I tend to “hoard” things I find in the street, and incorporate them in my woodwork and art, therefore, for us, upcycling was always imperative,” added co-founder and plastic artist Pedro Mello.

Read: 8 vegan eco sneakers we’re crushing on right now

The sneakers – currently sold on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo for US$91 – are available in four colours in total, including Vanilla Rainbow, Desert Camel, Dark Grey and Black Bird.

Nuven sneakers come in four colours. (Image: Undo for Tomorrow)

Since my twenties, I tend to “hoard” things I find in the street, and incorporate them in my woodwork and art, therefore, for us, upcycling was always imperative.

Pedro Mello, Co-Founder & Plastic Artist

Undo for Tomorrow says that it chose to launch via a crowdfunder to make its product available to consumers outside Portugal for the first time, and also ensure that they responsibly produce enough to meet demand. 

Nuvens are made and assembled in Franca, in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, one of the country’s largest footwear production hubs that generates around 20,000 jobs for the region. The Portuguese sneaker brand says they have partnered with a family-owned factory that shares the same environmental, human and social values, ensuring that all workers are safe and fairly paid while keeping to high sustainability standards. 

Vegan and sustainable shoes are quickly gaining traction in the sneaker world, with Nike recently debuting an animal-free leather version of its SB Dunks and a recycled plastic Space Hippie range. Adidas and Reebok are also on board, launching their own plant-based and upcycled designs to keep up with the trend.


All images courtesy of Undo for Tomorrow.


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