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ACBC stands for ANYTHING CAN BE CHANGED, the footwear brand wants to make the shoe industry more sustainable with their innovative shoes made from bio-based and recycled materials. A philosophy that we at COSH! are fans of! The eco-friendly brand was founded in 2017 by the Italian Gio Giacobbe en Edoardo Iannuzzi. Leather as a material is avoided in ACBC shoes to ensure good animal welfare, instead of using animal based materials they prefer to use materials like pineapple leafs and foodwaste material from apples.

It’s a Certified B Corporation which means ACBC meets high standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

Ethical

ACBC claims that their trainers are made in factories that strictly adhere to working conditions and environmental standards, which is of course great to hear! ACBC's production is spread across Italy, Portugal, Argentina, China and Indonesia. It is a pity that ACBC does not give any further information about their factories and what the working conditions are like. But despite this, as a certified B Corporation they have to meet high social standards and are audited for this, therefore we can still expect the brand to be ethical.

Materials

The highest sustainable content in ACBC’s shoes is given by recycled and bio-based raw materials. Their animal welfare principle made them seek new alternatives to leather and look for recycling technologies to use for creating fabrics, insoles and soles.

Soles are always made of recycled or natural rubber, insoles are usually made from recycled materials or cork. As opposed to the natural and recycled rubber soles in the regular ACBC shoes, the soles of their Zipshoes are made of EVA, a synthetic type of foam. EVA has the advantage of being a lightweight material that is comfortable to walk on, but to nature, EVA is not as friendly as the rubbers the brand offers. It would be nice if the brand added their Rerubber soles to the zipshoe collection as well!

Laces and linings are generally organic cotton and the upper parts of the shoes are typically made of recycled PET bottles or biomaterials, you can find hemp and linen shoes at this brand as well. We love to see that! Hemp and linen are both natural bast fibres which are biodegradable and very durable because they are sturdy and have a high thermal insulating and breathable ability.

The bio-based materials they use include Cornbase from cornstarch, Applebase from apple foodwaste, Pinatex from pineapple leafs, Grapebase from grape skins, seeds and stalks and Algafoam from algae biomass. Want to learn more about plant-based leathers? Then check out this blogpost!

The soles and uppers made from recycled resources are the fabric Rebotilia from recycled PET bottles, the foam Recycledfoam from post-production waste and the rubber Rerubber from postprodcution rubber scraps.

Animal welfare

Pretty good, animal welfare is described as one of the key-values of this brand, that’s why the brand never uses animal-based products. All ACBC shoes are animal free, including the adhesives and dyes that are used for making the shoes.

Circular economy

Circularity is not a foreign concept to ACBC. They often opt for fabrics made from recycled PET bottles or upcycled (food)waste materials and use soles from recycled rubber. The good news is that it doesn’t stop there! The brand states that circularity is their final goal, when you are done with your shoes, they recycle them into playgrounds. They have a partnership with a local non-profit organization so they can take back your shoes in dedicated collection bins in ACBC stores.

Slow fashion

The overall looks of ACBC’s shoes are pretty timeless. They come in different designs and colours but they don’t look too distinctive, you can get yourself a basic but chique black or white shoe in leather look or you can choose a more colourful sporty looking pair.

Alongside the ‘complete shoes’ ACBC primarily sells now, the brand started out launching their Zipshoe on Kickstarter in 2017. This innovative design soon hit 1 million pre-orders. Later on, other sustainable and innovative collections followed.

But are the Zipshoes worth the hype? The brand has been awarded several times because of this innovative type of shoe. Your sole is worn out? No worries, you can just buy a new one and zip it up to the upper you already own. Or do you no longer like the color of the upper part and the sole is still intact? No worries, just buy another color or design upper to attach to the sole. Maybe you just want to switch up between different looks, then this shoe also is a good solution for you. This way you don’t need to replace your entire shoes if something’s wrong with them and no new raw materials need to be exploited.

The brand also did some exciting collaborations with other companies, some of which are very well known fashion brands like Armani and LOVEMOCHINO with whom some exclusive shoe models were created.

Short supply chain

ACBC's shoes are designed in Milan, Italy and production is spread across Italy, Portugal, Argentina, China and Indonesia. This information suggests a rather long supply chain because if the shoes are produced in Asia, they have to travel a long distance to be sold in Europe. The shoes produced entirely in Europe, on the other hand, travel a short distance, although the materials probably come from other places in the world. The ACBC blog encourages people to buy shoes made in Italy.

Looking for a fresh pair of vegan trainers? If you choose to buy them from ACBC you can be sure you get a unique and eco-responsible shoe. See where you can shop them on the COSH! map below.