The Swedish brand Josefin Liljeqvist has developed the world’s first fully traceable shoes, where all leather parts can be traced back to the animal it comes from. The purpose is to raise awareness of animal rights and their well-being.
It has taken a long time to take the Josefin Liljeqvist project ashore, as it’s not easy to find materials that can be traced all the way down to the level of detail that they have strived for here, and to find manufacturers that can work with the given material. The shoes that are being launched now are three different variants, a hand welted black wholecut, Andrew, the first model, and a Goodyear welted black wholecut, both of which are available on a last with a slightly chiseled toe and one with a significantly rounder toe, and in addition to these there’s also a sneaker that is available in black and brown. Each shoe has a code inscribed on it that you can use to track all the material all the way to the back of the animal where it comes from. An important part of the project is that we should not forget the animal’s well-being.
The stitched shoes are made by Florence-based brand Stefano Bemer, who has very good reputation and high level of craftsmanship. This, combined with high costs for materials and the opportunities for tracking, make the shoes quite costly. €2,600 for the hand-stitched model, €1,700 for the Goodyear welted, and €750 for the sneaker. They also offer a couple of different wallets, which cost about €950 and €600 respectively. All products are offered Made to Order, with a delivery time of 3-4 months. A bit of a shame is that they hardly have any pictures on the shoes on the site now, in most cases there are just sketches.
It is undoubtedly an interesting project Josefin Liljeqvist is behind, with an important message at the bottom line, at the same time I am pondering if there are enough people who think it is worth paying the really high sums which the shoes sell for. Hopefully they can develop the business, streamline and bring prices down to a more affordable level over time.