At 77 years old, Maria Otilia founded a startup called 8000Kicks with her grandson Bernardo Carreira. The company makes lightweight and waterproof hemp shoes. They’re 100% vegan and sustainable. Plus, these sneakers have insoles made from hemp that make them eco-friendly too.
In 2018, Carreira returned from his trip to London, where he ran a small communications company. He decided to start a business with his grandmother, as he settled back into the humble community of Santarém, Portugal. Otília had over 50 years of experience in assembling material used for making textiles. She loved being able to participate in her grandson’s surprising idea of making hemp shoes.
When it comes to the most fantastic part of this product, Carreira states that they are using natural industrial fibers that have many advantages both physically and environmentally.
Hemp provides many benefits, such as:
• No harmful chemicals are used to grow these crops.
• This plant is so eco-friendly, it practically doesn’t even have an impact on the soil.
• It is a great alternative to cotton. It requires five times less water to grow.
• It absorbs Carbon Dioxide
• It is one of the most durable materials on Earth.
Hemp is environmentally friendly and a great way to save the planet. Carreira told Sapo during an interview, (On that note did you know hemp toilet paper could probably help save our world?)
“For example, a running shoe made of plastic has a carbon footprint of between 16 and 20 kilos of CO2. Our shoe is 4.1, which means it is considerably smaller. Being made from cannabis, from the moment we started making the shoe, we already absorb a lot of CO2 from the atmosphere, which is quite positive for the environment. Then there is the issue of seaweed and the fact that it is super comfortable and super light.”
The vegan sneaker is the perfect choice for your next outdoor adventure! These shoes are waterproof, stain-resistant, and easy to clean. They come with specially processed hemp that keeps feet 100% dry.
Carreira told Design Boom, “We wanted to make something for the active person, the challenger, the explorer, something that could provide the best experience under any conditions, and that’s why we built it waterproof. To guarantee that no water would come in, we also added a special waterproof membrane, providing a total of 2 layers of protection and keeping your feet dry no matter what.”
8000Kick has searched high and low for the most durable hemp material, then partnered up with skilled Portuguese manufacturers who can use recycled rubber from old shoes to use as the outsoles of their product.
“When designing our soles, we had to think of a wide range of applications. We balanced a rugged design for the heavy outdoor user that would be light enough for the casual user. By strategically carving the outsoles, we got a maximum grip level with reduced overall weight.” the company said.
The shoes’ insoles are made out of natural tree-growing cork. It has temperature-regulating, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties. It has also a non-deforming, naturally cushioned surface.
The sneakers are not just eco-friendly, they’re made with ethical labor too!
Hemp is one of the most useful plants in existence, and it’s only getting more popular. From cars to clothes to homes – you name it! These days hemp can be found being used by companies big or small all over because they know how well this versatile natural resource will work for them. Some of these companies or individuals are:
• Pam Bosch – remodeled her home using non-toxic hempcrete
• Researchers at the University of Alberta – developed hemp-derived carbon nanosheets that are better than graphene
• Porche – made a racecar out of hemp
• Levis – figured out how to make hemp as soft as cotton