Wair - Sustainable Sneakers

WAIR is a Copenhagen-based startup developing sustainable and scalable methods to up-cycle large amounts of textile waste. They work with unwanted textiles that come from manufacturers and any other piece of fabric they can get their hands on.

Started in 2018 by Lili Dreyer, a small thesis idea at university has grown exponentially and now they are the first company to produce sustainable up-cycled sneakers to a mass market on a large scale, not only changing the way we all think about fast fashion but the way we look at it too. 

With less than 1% of all materials being reused in the fashion industry, WAIR are determined to increase that number and push the message of a sustainable and eco-friendly brand without compromising on quality or design.

'WAIR strive to be transparent and honest in our productions and products. It is important for us to show you that we are walking the talk. That is why we made this report to present to you the good we do and acknowledge areas where we are going to improve.'


WAIR know that using up-cycled textiles is not enough in order to achieve a sustainable product. This is why they have considered the whole lifecycle of the shoe and tried to minimise the environmental and social impact at every stage. This includes everything from choosing local suppliers, selecting natural and recycled materials wherever it was not possible to use textile waste (e.g. the laces and the soles) and substituting toxic glue with water-based glue.

Most shoes end up in incineration or landfill, because they are made from a variety of different materials making them almost impossible to recycle. Instead WAIR have tried to keep the design simple and limit the amount of different materials.

Here are some facts as to what WAIR has done to reduce their carbon footprint and help the planet, not only individually but as a company;

  • They have collected and recovered 631Kg of material to be reused and repurposed
  • They have saved over 160,000 Litres of water from denim waste
  • They have ensured their working environment is safe for all employees and paid above average living wage
  • Started workshops to show people the process and teach other ways of making great products with more sustainable methods
  • Included a greater amount of information on product pages to allow customers to be informed on their purchase and learn more about choices in fashion and the sustainability movement

These great shoes not only look good, but do the planet a hell of a lot of good at the same time. The circular economy business model allows for maximum output with minimum waste, ensuring efficient commerce with strong company values.