They’re genderless and the soles are made from recycled tyres – Ardsly’s boots had us interested from the get-go.
And then we set eyes on the boots themselves – colourful, chic and just a little bit leftfield – which launched in February 2019 in collaboration with Malan Breton Menswear. Here Ardsly showcased its first ever collection, L-FILL: eye-catching boots designed for people, not genders, and ranging from sizes 3 to 11.
“We’re committed to injecting some vibrant disruption into sustainable fashion’s dry landscape,” says founder, Emma Greenwood. “Drawing inspiration from timeless references, we bounce between decades of fashion while blurring the lines of gender, social class and occasionality.”
The shape and design begins with the Chelsea boot, infusing a combination of 50s’ sweetheart shapes, 60s’ mod culture and the 70s’ love of colour. This continues with nostaglic references to ‘clip art’ and bold animal prints, inspired by the 90s and noughties.
The boots are soled with recycled rubber, cut directly from used tyres. According to Ardsly’s website, over 300 billion tyres are produced each year globally (and that’s around 43 times the population). Tyres aren’t biodegradable, so once used they head to landfill where their chemical compounds, when burnt, pollute both the soil and the air. Each tyre reclaimed by Ardsly makes a couple of pairs of boots so, suffice to say, when you wear these beautiful boots your sole is pretty unique. Oh and whilst some boots currently include cow’s leather, we’ve heard that veggie leather is coming soon too.
The brand has a strong commitment to quality too: the boots are made using Goodyear and lock stitch welts, methods specifically chosen to reduce the chances of adding to landfill and to ensure the boots will last a lifetime.
From Ardsl(e)y to London to Mexico
The brand’s universality began in ‘Ardsley’, a small village found in a northern mining town, and the place the brand’s chief Designer, Emma Greenwood, grew up. “The DNA of the brand pays homage to locations I’ve lived in,” she says.
“From Camden Road to a new creative home in Mexico, each style is named after a place or street I’ve actually walked; my northern roots work in tandem with my eclectic appetite, which I think makes the boots sustainable and fun, with no apologies.”