The Making Of Jinzo
We know fashion isn’t sustainable, but we’re committed to continually improving our processes until we are part of the solution.
We sat down with our Head of Product to share how our most sustainable sneaker yet came to be.
Meet the Jinzo:
The Jinzo was designed with sustainability at the forefront of our minds. The knit upper is crafted from 100% recycled plastic bottles and the outsole is made from 40% sugarcane, which significantly reduces the amount of harmful polyurethane! Next up, the rubber used in the outsole grip is sustainably sourced rubber from the hevea tree and finally, the laces are 100% recycled cotton.
The launch of the Jinzo marked the release of our new footbed, which is made up of 72% bio-based materials. This crazy comfy footbed creates three to six times less CO2 emissions than standard petroleum-based footbeds.
Passionate about all things shoes and sustainability, keep scrolling to learn more about Georgie.
ABOVE: Georgie / Head Product Designer @ Bared Footwear
Q. How long have you been working at Bared?
A. I joined the Bared team just over two years ago.
Q. Did you study further education? Do you have other industry work experience?
A. Yes, I studied a Bachelor of Applied Science in Fashion Textiles and Merchandising at RMIT.
While at RMIT I was lucky enough to be a part of an exchange program in New York where I studied for a semester, and it was an incredible experience. It allowed me to work at Myer as an intern for a year after my second year of university.
Once the internship ended, I was offered a full-time job at Myer. I worked there full-time and studied part-time to finish my final year at university. After three years I finished up at Myer and made the move to London.
I lived in London for five years where I worked with two brands. One of which was a large footwear retailer which was an incredible experience and cemented my passion for shoes!
Q. Why is sustainability important to you?
A. With where we are currently in the world it is hard not to view sustainability as a critical topic that must be addressed. Global warming is a very real thing. It is extremely important to me and my family’s future to act now and make conscious decisions when it comes to buying.
I feel very lucky that I can put these passions into my work at Bared and I am empowered to research and continue developing greener products. It is not a quick fix or something that can be done overnight, but I am grateful to be at a company that prioritises sustainability and is actively working towards better solutions.
Q. What was the inspiration behind Jinzo?
A. We wanted to design a shoe that was greener and kinder to the planet while remaining incredibly comfortable, which Jinzo is! We also had a gap in our range for a more athleisure sneaker and had received plenty of requests from our customers.
By combining lightweight greener materials and a product that is very easy to get on and off, we felt it was catering to the shifted mindset of our customers in a post-pandemic world. Plus, who doesn’t love an easy-to-put-on shoe that is comfortable and looks good?
Q. When did you first start the design process for Jinzo? Was it a long time in the making?
A. The shoe took a year in the making and a lot of small tweaks to get the perfect fit. It started with researching greener componentry and coming up with a concept that was good for your feet, better for the planet and, of course, looked cool!
We also wanted this shoe to be slip-resistant so that it could cater to a broad range of uses.
Q. How do you make a shoe? From concept to manufacturing, take us through this process.
A. You can’t make a shoe overnight, that’s for sure. But here is the general process that I follow:
Initial design concept researched and brainstormed.
Sketch/design created and materials are sourced.
Outsole ideas are detailed to ensure slip testing is met.
Receive 3D printed outsole to review the concept and initial prototype.
The fit test sample is received. There are often changes made here.
Final sample sent and approved.
Q. As our first vegan sneaker that is lighter on the planet, was it hard to find sustainable materials?
A. Yes, it was! Sourcing sustainable materials with suppliers is a long process. It starts with the initial research stage on innovations and moves quickly on to sourcing them ideally with certification.
Q. What were your biggest challenges and highlights during the design process?
A. The two biggest challenges of the Jinzo were:
- The sole design - there were a few concepts we re-worked for a variety of reasons.
- Sourcing greener components.
The highlight of all shoe designs for me is seeing the finished product on people's feet. I love seeing people love the shoes they are wearing.
Q. Will we see more colours coming soon?
A. Sure will! Stay tuned, we are expanding with an additional three colourways for spring/summer 22.
Q. How do you wear the Jinzo?
A. I wear it in lots of ways and for lots of occasions. I can dress it down with trackies or leggings, or up with a jumpsuit/ jeans. It really is a neutral shoe that goes with lots of things in my wardrobe. I have the black and love it!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this interview with Georgie and insight into the design process of Jinzo.
Don’t forget to tag #liveverystep on your Instagram photos while your sporting your new boots. You'll instantly go into the running to WIN a pair of shoes in our fortnightly giveaway. Plus! We absolutely LOVE to see you rocking Bared.