The debut shoe from Proto Collective is here.
The first look is the Iris-D, a sneaker Proto Collective said in a statement “was made with deep care and consideration for the makers who created them, for the people who trust us enough to wear them, and of course, for the planet that is the universal home to us all.”
It features knit uppers that are made from KX Lab, utilizing 98% recycled materials for yarns. Also, the shoe’s insoles designed by Blumaka, which makes insoles by regrinding factory scraps, old products and foam-waste. Completing the shoe are cupsoles by Vibram and All-Pro Flat Braid Eco shoelaces that are made in the USA by Wincord with recycled PET yarn.
The Proto Collective Iris-D is available now exclusively via Protocollective.com with a $320 retail price.
Proto Collective, composed of critical thinkers from both inside and outside the footwear industry, is focused on creating a profitable business that puts both people and the planet in the forefront. The collective aims to create a sustainable supply chain in the Americas that will yield a range of products, with a focus on responsible and local manufacturing — all while being transparent about the process.
The collective includes Katie Longmyer, who is CEO, and Jillian Ricciardi, who is COO. Alongside Longmyer and Ricciardi are Jeff Staple and Jeffrey Henderson, the brand lead and product lead, respectively, and Melody Ehsani and Jessica Orkin serve in advisory roles. Rounding out Proto is WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey, who is the lead primary investor.
“As consumers, we must become more more aware of the power in the choices we make if we want the company and the world to change. We can’t turn a blind eye to the exploitative practices of the companies we purchase from just because we think their products are cool,” McKelvey told FN in an interview this month. “We need more options like Proto, so we can show that our purchasing decisions can support our values.”