Hooties by MinervaHemp!
Soft sole hemp shoes originally for babies, now for adults by demand. These shoes are more ethical than any other on the market. Made by a vegan, they’re free of animal products and impart a minimal impact.
The sole and majority of the upper construction are made from 100% hemp. Super heavy 28 oz. canvas for the sole and light and airy 10 oz. woven for the upper. Why hemp? It’s renewable, doesn’t require pesticides to grow, and it’s the most durable plant fiber there is! MinervaHemp takes it one step further by using fair trade Romanian hemp (learn more). Wait, hemp, you mean like pot? A common question actually, but the answer is: no! Industrial hemp does not contain THC (the component in cannabis which causes the high) and is only used for manufacturing purposes.
The optional printed accent fabric is made of organic cotton from various designers such as Birch Fabrics or Cloud9. They are as ethical as it gets for printed fabric and I’m currently working on finding out more about their labor standards and manufacturing practices. Nonetheless, organic makes less of an impact than conventional cotton and I use a minimal amount. Cotton fabric in general requires a lot of resources to produce.
Hooties are sewn using organic cotton thread from NearSea Naturals (now Organic Cotton Plus) with a double zig-zag for extra durability.
The only part of MinervaHemp’s Hooties that isn’t biodegradable and sustainable is the few inches of nylon elastic in the back. I’ve been on the lookout for natural rubber elastic coated in organic cotton with no luck. Apparently it existed at one point but the demand was not enough to keep it around. Until it makes a return, I keep it minimal.
It feels silly to even call it “manufacturing” because it’s all currently done in my living room while my kids are sleeping. From raw fabric to beautiful shoes, each step is done by me. I cut out the pieces by hand from patterns I designed, then pin and sew them up into Hooties on my personal sewing machine. One day I hope to streamline the process a bit, but I will always want them to have that homemade quality.
Some people ask me why I bother trying so hard. To that I say: Why not? I care about the planet and all the creatures on it so I do my best to help them out. When my first born was a baby, the info started coming out that soft-sole shoes are best for developing feet. I was already vegan and eco-conscious and all that was available at the time were leather shoes. I’ve always been crafty so I decided to design a shoe for my kiddo. A month or so later, the first Hooties were born. Back then they didn’t have a name, and they were made of hemp fabric, hemp canvas, and twine, but they got the job done. Over time, friends and strangers wanted some and they needed to fit wide varieties of feet and last several months and then big people started wanting their own! It warms my heart to see how people have supported the idea and it’s been so much fun to watch it grow. I hope one day hemp shoes become the norm, but until then I’ll keep making them…one pair at a time!
Get your own!