At a time when every brand claims to be “sustainable” and “eco-friendly,” it can be challenging to weed out the genuine from the green-washed. Golden Goose, however, isn’t one to be wary of.
Just last month, the Italian shoemaker released its ambitious social corporate responsibility plan, including aims to become carbon neutral internationally in the next three years. With such hefty goals, the next step in the plan involves enlisting a like-minded partner in the sustainable luxury market: Coronet, a leader in the research and production of animal-free, plant-based and recycled materials. Together, the two forces are creating Yatay, a brand dedicated to incorporating green technology with Italian craftsmanship slated to launch later this year. But now, aptly timed with Earth Day, they’re channeling their eco ambitions into what Golden Goose does best: the Yatay Model 1B bio-based sneaker.
The name Yatay is derived from a variety of palm (Butia Yatay) and, according to the brand, “is a palindrome word to symbolize the principle of circularity, the ultimate goal in our innovation journey in order to make a positive change, from the beginning to the end.” The shoes themselves are made from a trademarked material called Yatay B, derived from vegetable sources as well as low-impact components like recycled polyester and biodegradable rubber.
By using this material versus leather, Golden Goose claims to reduce CO2 emissions by 90 percent and water usage by 65 percent. Even more, each pair’s left heel tab features an embossed number that, when paired with the QR code on the shipping box, allows the consumer to plant a tree and monitor its growth and CO2 absorption. In short: it’s a purchase you can feel good about.
But virtuosity isn’t the sneaker’s only appeal. The minimalist, genderless design, available for $350 beginning Friday, April 22, is less harmful to the environment than other shoes, but it’s also stylish. The clean upper in monochromatic white nods to retro sport shoes, while the hand-engraved biodegradable sole gives the sneakers a bit of the lived-in patina that is Golden Goose’s signature. The result is a comfortable, breathable and wear-everywhere pair of kicks—and, best of all, they’re thoroughly guilt-free.