VERDA, for a more sustainable fashion

Founded by Katarina Holt, Verda is committed to creating a sustainable and responsible range of accessories and shoes for real change in the fashion world. Specifically, the designer has sought out and tested the best workshops, suppliers, materials and designs with which to implement her mission: to address global environmental and ethical challenges in order to make a positive impact, starting with what we wear.

Verda uses only ecological and natural materials – recycled or plant-based – free of any animal-derived components (such as leather, fur and wool). For example, for the shoes, conventional leather has been replaced with a solution made from waste from the Italian wine industry, including grape skins, seeds and stalks. The linings are made from biosourced or recycled materials, the insoles are made from 100% recycled materials, breathable and antibacterial for maximum comfort. The wood for the heels comes from responsibly managed French pear orchards while the outsoles are made from recycled or renewable materials.

Verda makes its collections by hand with materials produced in Europe: design takes place in Paris while production near Porto, a city renowned for its centuries-old tradition of shoe-making excellence. This design choice was made mainly to make the product affordable – another key issue when trying to be sustainable: “As Verda shoes are already made from high-quality materials, production in France would have meant a final price too high for the consumer. For us, it was crucial that our shoes remain accessible to as many people as possible who appreciate our style and believe in the concepts of eco-responsibility and vegan products. Portugal, with its rich shoe-making tradition, offered the best compromise. In addition, Portugal’s proximity to France and the status as a member of the European Union allow us to maintain strict production standards and support favourable working conditions for the artisans who produce our shoes,” Katarina tells us.

Speaking of working conditions, the designer says that the footwear industry outside Europe often uses unethical practices towards its workers (e.g. in regions such as China and the Middle East). By producing in Portugal, Verda can guarantee the fair economic and ethical treatment of artisans and a regulated and safe working environment. This decision reflects the brand’s focus on social responsibility and respect for human rights.

Regarding product disposal, “We are actively exploring sustainable solutions for the end-of-life of our shoes, such as the creation of a ‘preloved’ category and the possibility of sending the product to us for recycling when it is no longer suitable to be worn.The goal is a commitment to minimise our environmental impact throughout the entire life cycle”.

Verda shoes are currently being developed for direct sale to consumers. At the time of purchase, the intention is to ship them directly from Portugal to the consumer, minimising unnecessary transportation. Thanks to its values and real focus on sustainability, the Verda brand has been included in the new and free Materials Design Map. For more information on the brand and updates, visit Verda’s website and follow the brand on Instagram! Ph. courtesy Verda, credits Anthony Retournard

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