BENDY: The part-sneaker, part-flat shoe with a low carbon footprint

Ashbury Skies, an online retailer for independent footwear designers, have launched their BENDY collection – a shoe that’s part-sneaker, part-flat that also happens to have a low carbon footprint.

The BENDY women’s shoe, which is akin to an espadrille, is made of five simple components: a leather upper, a flexible bottom, thread, a footbed, and an insole support.

The BENDY manufacturers say that it generates less emissions because it has just five components vs 30 in an average sneaker.

An average pair of sneaker produces 30 lbs of C02 emissions, which is the equivalent of leaving a 100 watt light bulb on for one week.

The BENDY is also cut to order, so it produces less waste, and uses a stitched construction which averts toxic glues. Because production is in California, the shoe isn’t transported over vast distances so it maintains a lower carbon footprint. The BENDY also promotes fair wages and safe working conditions for workers.

The San Francisco-based brand wanted to handcraft comfortable shoes, but also wanted to play a role in getting the industry to rethink their current design practices that are damaging to the environment.

BENDY was brought to life by Ashbury Skies co-founders Mary Sue Papale and Yvette Turner, alongside footwear designer, Caroline de Baëre. The aim to develop a more sustainable shoe came about in their quest for a “super comfortable shoe” that could be made local to them, with minimal impact on the environment.

Mary Sue Papale and Yvette Turner said: “We think the design and manufacturing of shoes needs to be looked at through a new lens for the good of the planet, and educating the next generation of designers is the best way to create real change.

The BENDY comes in various colours including black, red, blue, mustard yellow and grey and is available online from Ashbury Skies.

Ashbury Skies

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and offers content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at

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