This article is about missed opportunities. And we see a lot of them here at FUTUREVVORLD. As we explored in a recent piece, brands that are selecting natural materials like hemp are then also pairing them with not-so-friendly materials like animal leathers and plastic-based textiles. It’s endlessly frustrating when luxury and the misguided idea of what is premium gets in the way of progress.
So, with that in mind, we’d like to introduce you to Bottega Veneta’s latest “ugly” footwear: the Caged Boot which comes equipped with a very pretty price tag of $650 USD. The Italian label is known for its elegant and timeless footwear, but it’s also no stranger to creating some more ‘out-there’ designs such as knitted boots and glue-like heels.
This latest boot is all-black and made from a single material: rubber. (Except for the laces which don’t seem to be doing much to help tie the shoe together.) To achieve the webbed and lattice design, the boot was laser cut.
Now, at first glance, this doesn’t seem too planet-unfriendly. The use of one single material suggests that there would be little waste produced in the making of these boots. However, laser cutting, as a process that removes material, leads to waste. Where do the offcuts from that lattice design go?
With the proliferation of 3D-printed footwear in the market, we wonder if Bottega Veneta might have been better served enlisting this increasingly-popular technology for its boot, and in doing so, created a shoe that produced no waste.
It’s not the first time Bottega Veneta has missed an opportunity like this. Browsing its footwear online, you’ll see heels and boots that combine lamb and calfskin with bio-based rubber and biodegradable leather outsoles. It seems, well, a little strange, to use both animal and animal-alternative leathers in one shoe.
If Bottega Veneta (and the luxury footwear industry in general) wants to prove that luxury and sustainability can go hand-in-hand, it’s going to have to take more opportunities and be a lot smarter with its choice of materials and processes.