Actress, Social Entrepreneur and Environmentalist Lily Cole adds ‘Shoe Designer’ to her title as she launches her first trainer collection with sustainable brand Veja, as part of her work as ambassador for Sky Rainforest Rescue.
Following a trip to the Amazon in late 2012 and a sold out rubber jewellery collection in 2013, Lily has taken the next step of her journey with Sky and WWF in their partnership to help save one billion trees in the Amazon rainforest. Using rubber tapped from trees in Acre, northwest Brazil, Lily has designed an Amazon inspired shoe collection, with the rainforest’s beauty as her muse, to help make rubber tapping a sustainable revenue source.
The stylish range includes one print in three playful colour ways, with the design championing the smaller species of the rainforest – from the hummingbird to the mushroom – that held Lily’s attention during her trip to the Amazon. With all eyes on Brazil, the collection – available in the hottest palettes for SS14 – is set to be the perfect summer accessory. Prices start from £55, with Sky donating £10 to Sky Rainforest Rescue from every pair sold.
“I’ve supported Sky Rainforest Rescue since its 2009 launch and I’m incredibly passionate about exploring ways for rainforest locals, such as the rubber tapping community, to make a sustainable living without resorting to deforesting. My visit to the Amazon with Sky and WWF had a profound effect on the way I view sustainable economies and it’s clear that the survival of the rainforest is dependent on management of its resources. The trainer collection is another example of how rubber can be used to make something beautiful and I see a real future for green economies and the potential to make trees worth more alive than dead”, says Cole.
Acre state was once a global centre of rubber production but, having been out-competed by cheaper, unsustainable synthetic and plantation rubber, many of the area’s rubber tapping communities have started to cut down trees in order to grow crops and raise livestock.