Put your best foot forward in a pair of Nelson Made’s sustainable shoes
Like most movements that originally set out to challenge the fashion system – punk, normcore, dadcore – sustainability has been turned into a trend itself. We’ve even invented a word for it – greenwashing. With big brands making big promises and adding leaves to their logos, it can be tricky to know who to trust. The answer? Turn to the experts. Designers like Jamie Nelson whose years of experience as a footwear designer in the fashion industry prompted her to start Nelson Made, the sustainable shoe brand that stands by its statements.
Prior to Nelson Made’s launch in 2017, Jamie Nelson was working as a footwear designer in the Australian fashion industry. On paper, things seemed great but in reality Jamie was growing troubled by the practices of the brands she was working for. She no longer wanted to contribute to an industry that promoted mass-production and over-consumption, so she left. Jamie’s talents soon turned to making shoes by hand in Melbourne from sustainably sourced materials like vegetable leather and up-cycled fabric. Fast forward to 2019 and that project has become Nelson Made. True to its original intention, the brand continues to make 80 percent of its shoes locally in small batches in an effort to both reduce environmental impact and boost local industry. Nelson Made keeps equally ethical company, often collaborating with like-minded labels including Melbourne’s Arnsdorf and New Zealand’s Penny Sage.
The shoes themselves are a thing of beauty, their sleek silhouettes not far removed from minimalist art and architecture. This makes sense given Jamie graduated with a degree in sculpture from the Elma School of Fine Art in New Zealand. Modern minimalists will be drawn to Nelson Made’s collections of strap-laden sandals and modest heels – the perfect accessory to a summer evening outfit. If you’re interested, you can pick a pair in classic black or opt for a refreshing hue from a palate of celery, seafoam and rose. If you’ve ever dreamed of indulging your inner shoe designer, you can also dream up a bespoke set online via Nelson Made’s ‘Design Your Own’ option. Find a pair at Arnsdorf, Penny Sage, Garmentory or on Nelson Made’s website.