Australian sneaker brand Blac Sneaker Co is taking on the world’s biggest names in sneakers with a range of sustainable and stylish kicks made from hemp and cotton.
Blac, based in the nation’s capital Canberra – hardly an international fashion or streetwear hub, which makes its achievements all the more remarkable – has developed a Positive Steps sustainability-focused program designed “to give back to people and planet” through a range of initiatives such as purchasing carbon offsets and donating to charities.
Planting trees has always been a top priority for the brand, which has now launched for October, in which it promises to plant five trees for every pair of Blacs sold.
The company chose hemp to make the sneakers because it’s an incredibly resilient and easily-grown natural material.
Blac founder Ms Cymbalak says of the tree-planting initiative: “We were inspired by September 25 – which marks the Global Day of Climate Action – however, we wanted to extend our cause throughout the entire month of October to really make an impact,” she said.
Proceeds from Grow Your Impact will be donated to regenerate Australian bushlands and rebuild the habitats of animals that were devastated by wildfires or other deforestation challenges.
“Spring is the ideal time to plant trees for reforestation and do something good for our environment and climate.”
The Original Blac sneaker – sold in both black and white for AU$119 (US$86) – is made from hemp and cotton.
Cymbalak says hemp serves as an excellent material for shoes because it’s durable, strong, anti-microbial (“say goodbye to smelly shoes”) and kind to the environment both in growing, and harvesting. “Further, hemp is an exemplar plant for absorbing carbon and therefore working to combat rising global temperatures.”
After the month-long promotion, Blac will pledge at least 2 per cent of its turnover to charity, environmental sustainability, or community education every year.