Upcycled tires may not be the first thing that comes to mind when designing sandals, but for Christal Earle, co-founder and CEO of Brave Soles, it just made sense. Since 2005, Earle has been supporting the communities living on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic as a humanitarian worker, including those living and working on landfills. Shocked by the number of scrapped tires burning all around a breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes—she decided to do something to help. Her solution? Transforming the hazardous waste into something functional and stylish.
In 2017, Earle co-founded Brave Soles, employing local craftspeople to produce durable leather sandals and accessories for men and women—with soles made from discarded tires. Now, in a new partnership with Voyageur Aviation and Jazz Aviation (wholly-owned subsidiaries of Canadian company Chorus Aviation), Brave Soles is adding upcycled leather from old airplane seats and inner tube rubber from airplane tires. This Aircraft Collection turns drab airplane materials into contemporary, everyday pieces. Take the Hudson Messenger Bag handcrafted by Dominican artisan Luis Lebron: reminiscent of the Pan Am bags of the ’60s and ’70s, the adjustable cross-body can carry a 13” laptop (padded with upcycled aircraft seat foam) alongside a charger, power bank, and whatever else the day requires. The Hudson is a proud reminder that fashion can look good and do good, too.
The Brave Soles Aircraft Collection is available online at Bravesoles.life
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