Making Shoes More Natural

SOM Footwear co-founder Nathalie has had a persistent question since day one: “How can we make these shoes more natural?”  It turned out to be more difficult than either she or shoemaker Olie anticipated.  As they quickly discovered, sourcing the usual materials that most shoe manufacturers used was difficult.  As a new company, SOM struggled to gain access to vendors who were used to large companies and had high minimum quantities.  It was time to get creative.

Over the next couple of years, SOM worked hard sourcing their components. When materials were available locally, SOM was excited to try them.  Every possible material underwent significant testing as Olie was dedicated to ensuring all materials were of high quality, no matter the source.  Though using natural materials for SOMs was still an active initiative, the focus of SOM Footwear for the first number of years remained procuring consistently high-quality materials.

Material Choices

When SOM reworked their design and manufacturing processes over the last months, Nathalie saw it as the perfect time to design the natural shoe she had envisioned from the beginning.  She was able to identify a supplier of organic hemp with a texture that worked well with the constructions of SOMs.  The same supplier could offer an organic cotton and hemp blend liner that was even more sustainable that the previous bamboo liner.

Nathalie couldn’t help but be excited as the pieces to SOM’s first natural fiber shoe began to fall into to place.  The quest for this more natural shoe even led to changing the insert to one that makes use of natural fibers.  These changes affect every current model of SOMs, meaning they will have more natural elements than the previous—another step toward offering more naturally sourced shoes with all SOMs.

Good Mood Natural Fiber Model

The Good Mood found its name as SOM kept being drawn to its earthy look and feel.  Olie said wearing them puts him in the same mental place as when he is sitting outside taking in the natural beauty—a good mood. Nathalie agreed as she feels her toes are in a better mood when they are cozy in natural fibers.  And so the Good Mood was born.

It is still a dream of Nathalie's to bring more locally sourced natural materials to SOMs, a dream that SOM is actively working toward in the long term.  For the moment, she is thrilled to be able to offer the Good Mood as SOM’s first natural fiber model.  

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