C.L.I.M.A.T.E. Thinking

At Cushe, we've been developing produc t now for over 5 years.  With the footware manufacturing process, the shipping and delivery of product and flying all over the world to get our shoes in front of the right people; we've racked up our fair share of carbon guilt.

This has always weighed heavy on our shoulders and although all these aspects are critical in building up a new company, we felt it was about time we came up with a range of products that allowed us to tread a much lighter environmental path. The detrimental effect that footwear companies have on the environment is a serious subject but with this refreshed way of thinking, we thought we could have a bit of fun with it too. At the start of this process, we thought it would be a fairly simple task to find a blueprint for creating environmentally friendly footwear, but were amazed to find that no matter how hard we looked, it simply wasn’t there. The process that followed was as educational as it was challenging.

Conscious of our background and our way of doing things, the idea was to flip the lid on the way we manufacture and package our shoes from start to finish. We wanted to prove that as a footwear company, we could still make fresh, exciting product that was simple, environmentally conscious and at an affordable price.

The resulting range we came up with Contains Low Impact Materials And Thinking Environmentally (C.L.I.M.A.T.E), which represents a very small line that is isolated from the rest of our range, but hugely significant in terms of the difference it will make to the way we develop and manufacture Cushe product for the future.


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Leaving a Lighter Footprint - Cushe Founder Martin Dean on C.L.I.M.A.T.E.

Does becoming more eco have a significant effect on business?
Whether you’re a shoe company or any other kind of company for that matter, in this day and age, you’ve got to be thinking about the effect your actions are having on the environment. Everybody is in the same situation now and with legislation dictating change and more importantly, the ethical codes that we want to aspire to, the impact it’s having on day to day business is becoming increasingly prevalent.

How is becoming more environmentally thinking effecting Cushe?
When we started Cushe, the priority was to get the brand off the ground and establish ourselves in the market place. Now, with a secure future in place, our priority has changed to producing more environmentally friendly product with less of an impact on the environment. Compared to a lot of our competitors, Cushe is in a very fortunate position in the regard that we are still a very young company, only 5 years old so it’s a lot easier for us to be thinking about the environment and taking the right steps to being more conscious.

What were the steps you took in becoming more conscious of the environment?
When we first started thinking about doing things more environmentally, we initially thought that we wouldn’t be the first and it would be a relatively easy process. We assumed that we’d be able to learn from others, but the more we looked into it, the more questions it threw up. There didn’t appear to be any real answers, no right or wrong ways to do things and the more this happened, the more we felt that we wanted to just strip the manufacture of product down to its bear bones, effectively, shoemaking in its purest form. Tackling the problem in this way actually created a blueprint to learn from and then filter it into the main range for everything we do for the future.

What are you doing to make Cushe more environmentally sound?
As a company, we don’t claim to have all the answers, but we do know that we could be doing things a little better. As a result of this new way of thinking, we wanted to create a series of products that Contained Low Impact Materials And Thinking Environmentally and this is how the C.L.I.M.A.T.E label came to be. It represents a small collection of shoes that stands apart from the rest of the range that is our effort to be more environmentally conscious. It’s an area that we wanted to keep protected from the rest of the line and an area that allows us to experiment more to see if we can find ways to create more eco and environmentally friendly footwear.

Lets talk about the Shucoon…
The first product we developed under the new CLIMATE label was a project provisionally entitled ‘Cocoon’. The idea behind it was that we wanted to protect this collection and almost put it in its own little bubble. To make it a bit more fun we actually decided to make the thing look like a cocoon, with the two outsoles fitting together, held together with a recycled rubber wristband. It’s a very simple model and serves a couple of purposes; it cost effective, it’s got a cheap retail ticket and more importantly, it makes environmental fun.

In time ‘Cocoon’ turned into ‘Shucoon’ and rest is history…

What about the future?
Well now we’ve got our blueprint in place, we’ll be rolling it out across the range and be making everything we do a little more environmentally. It’s a truly exciting future for us because we have a personal interest in making this area success. I want to be doing things a little better and believe that this first step with the most significant.