You may recall we had a glorious time at LFW, and whilst at the divine Malan Breton AW19 show we got talking to one of the brands involved with the presentation, Ardsly. The brand uses recycled tyres as soles for their boots. Ardsly are the new sustainably focused boot brand you need to know about.
Introducing the brand to you is super easy. Ardsly are a luxurious yet relatable range of genderless boots -committed to injecting vibrant disruption into sustainable fashion’s dry landscape.
The boots shoe is based on the good classic Chelsea boot, which no wardrobe is complete without. The boot takes design references from a combination of references. Combining 50’s sweetheart shapes 60’s mod culture and the 70’s love of colour. This then gets a modern dose of 90s nostalgia with a smattering of animal print. All combined this makes for an eclectic mix of playful sophistication.
Launching in 2019 the brand are focused on sustainability. The collection is designed to be artistically conscious: providing sustainability focused footwear. Each pair of boots are soled with recycled rubber, cut directly from used tyres. One tyre is enough rubber for 2 pairs of boots, meaning that every pair is as unique as the person who wears them.
This brand is the brainchild of designer Emma Greenwood. Emma is directly inspired by the places she has traveled. Wether it is her Northen roots, Camden Road or the new creative home of Mexico. This brand is truly global.
With such an incredible brand, idea and product. We had to grab 5 minutes of Emma’s time to talk all things Ardsly.
Where did the inspiration to start Ardsly come from?
My main inspiration for Ardsly was a combination of Camden Road, where it began, and Mexico, where I now live. Mexico is a country full of innovation on a local level. There are chairs made of tyres, bars made of wooden pallets, tables made from old car seats. Upcycling is everywhere.
I already knew the DNA of Ardsly would be a sort of ‘Conscious yet vibrant’. Since I moved over to live in Mexico and I had the time to start it, it’s where it really came to life.
Tyres! Where did this incredible idea come from?
There’s so much education now around how we’re effecting our planet. It seems obvious that we need to move this way (urgently). Tyres especially have a huge environmental impact on the planet and they made complete sense to be recycled into shoe soles.
ARDSLY: L-FILL COLLECTION, is the first step towards the ‘circular’ design approach. So, before anything was made, I was looking for a factory that could support my designs with sustainable innovation, and I’m lucky to have found an awesome company, to bring my collections to life. BUT, it’s important to say, it isn’t perfect, it might never be. But, it is also important to start somewhere.
We are big supporters of fashion for all, why is it important that Ardsly’s boots are genderless?
Now more than ever, there’s a real need to shout about inclusivity, I wanted my designs to represent this.
I wanted our ethos ‘made for people – not genders’ at the forefront of the brand because the main thing is that they’re designed with no one gender in mind, they’re designed to make you feel good in them, whoever you are.
I believe it’s important we don’t cage ourselves into categories, into social classes, or fashion into occasions, so I just took off the pressure and designed them for all.
We love that you have channelled your northern roots into the brand, why was this important to you?
My roots are important because art is personal, and that’s what creating is all about. One person might love something that another person might hate, but personally I think it’s good not to design for everyone. I grew up in Ardsl(e)y, South Yorkshire, that’s where I learnt to paint and draw, so it felt right.
My dad was a coal miner and the hardest worker I’ve ever met, and my mum gave me my first insight into sustainable fashion really (although we didn’t think of it that way). We would be in the charity shops every weekend, so that’s where it all began.
If you had to pick one pair from your range, which would you choose?
It’s hard because I design what I like, but I love the hand painted styles, because I’m all about a bold clashing outfit. I’ve also got some awesome sneaker designs coming soon, which I love!
What is next for Ardsly, where do you see the brand in 2020?
Everything you see from the brand so far has been done by just me – I’m a one woman band. From the designs, art directing the photoshoot, the social content, sewing on the labels, replying to emails, to writing the press release for LFW.
So I haven’t planned that far ahead yet, (ha) but I’m exploring some exciting sustainable materials for heels and sneakers coming soon, and hoping to do some artist collaborations, so hopefully somewhere vibrant and fun.
Follow our feet @ardsly_ to keep an eye on us!