Featured image for Ales Grey Teams Up With Sway To Reinvent Shoe Packaging

Ales Grey Teams Up With Sway To Reinvent Shoe Packaging

by Rudy Sanchez on 07/12/2023 | 2 Minute Read

Whether you live in the same pair of boots until they wear out or have a footwear collection that rivals former Philippines' first lady Imelda Marcos, your shoes likely came inside a shoebox.

While most shoeboxes get made using cardboard, there are still environmental costs to producing and moving that packaging. Moreover, shoes get shipped inside two boxes, the actual shoebox and an outer shipping box.


Seeing an opportunity to improve convention, shoe brand Ales Grey recently partnered with material innovators Sway to flip the script on shoe packaging by replacing the traditional box with compostable (home and industrial), seaweed-based packaging.


“Designing circular packaging isn't just about sustainable materials. It's about reducing the total volume, weight, and necessity of all the materials used,” says Julia Marsh, Sway co-founder and CEO. “In this case, the packaging shouldn't be heavier than the already lightweight footwear! If the product is designed for durability, we have wiggle room to eliminate excess packaging. The same logic applies in retail environments, not just in e-commerce. Here, we remove the need for secondary boxes and provide a 100% biobased, rapidly compostable film which guards against dust and scuffing—while eliminating over 50% of the overall packaging.”

Sustainable, compostable packaging doesn’t need to be visually lacking, as evident with the Ales Grey X Sway collab. Sway’s packaging is a pleasant sapphire blue, reminiscent of pristine ocean water. The packaging also uses a bellyband to communicate the seaweed-based pouch that's plastic-free, with callouts around ocean-farmed seaweed and how it helps coastal communities and improves their ecosystems. According to Marsh, Sway designed the packaging to be visually delightful while prompting a discussion about our packaging materials.


While some folks may scoff at slide-style shoes, it’s hard to hate the Ales Grey X Sway collaboration's eco-friendly, compostable, seaweed-based packaging.

Images courtesy of Sway.