Nothing New Has A Sustainable Take On A Classic Shoe Design

by Rudy Sanchez on 01/20/2020 | 2 Minute Read

The founders of sustainable shoe line Nothing New didn’t initially set out to create a sustainable shoe brand, it started as a thought exercise among entrepreneurs asking themselves a series of questions like “can we get vibrant colors on 100% up-cycled post-consumer plastic thread using a sustainable dying process?” 

You know, stuff like that.

In brainstorming what a sustainable shoe brand should be, and after seeing both the viability and importance of an environmentally-conscious casual footwear brand, they knew they had to move forward, even if there was some initial hesitation as the founders juggled other projects.

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The name Nothing New is both a play on the fact that their shoes consist of reclaimed materials, and because the cup-sole shoe, a style popularized by brands like Converse, isn't necessarily, well, new.

The shoes’ upcycled materials from plastic and commercial fishnets are ethically sourced, while the recycled plastic in the upper part of the shoe is Global Recycle Source (GRS) certified. Additionally, the metals used for the lace eyelets are certified conflict-free, and the Outsoles are stitched on rather than glued, which, while a more expensive process, creates a more durable and flexible shoe while avoiding nasty chemicals and sulfur emissions.

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Nothing New’s sustainability doesn’t end with the shoe design as they utilize 100% recycled paper in their packaging as well. The company also runs a shoe recycling program, Virtuous Circle, where customers ship their worn pairs postage-free and. Depending on the condition, they get donated to charity or disassembled and broken down, using as much of the old shoes as possible in making new pairs.

The only thing that's actually new about Nothing New is the brand itself, having launched just last year, although founding partner and head of brand development and marketing Darnell Thompson says many assume they’ve been in business for much longer, a testament perhaps to both the quality and presentation of the brand along with consumer demand for sustainable products.

“We launched at the end of June. Most people assume we have been around for a long time, but we're new and making our way through this space on our own terms,” Darnell says.

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It would even appear that the reluctant attitude towards even launching has not only worn off but has sent Nothing New in the opposite direction, looking towards a second line of shoe wear and other apparel.

“We'll be expanding our products and trying to continually over time," Darnell said. "We're working on our next model as well as looking at different types of apparel. It will be a fun journey as we build the brand."

Nothing New’s shoes are available on their website,

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