The ’90s are back in style and luxury Italian label Missoni has the sustainable sneakers to prove it—a collab with eco footwear brand ACBC.
Missoni’s latest collaboration with fellow Italian fashion house, the five-year-old sustainable footwear brand ACBC, brings back the iconic basket high top sneaker design, only this time, it’s all about new materials.
The Basket takes inspiration from Missoni founder Tai Missoni—he was an Olympic hurdler back in the 1940s, before he helped catapult Italian luxury fashion onto the world stage. The new shoe pays homage to the late founder as well as the heyday of luxury sportswear—the ’90s.
The new sneakers are made from fruit peels, recycled plastic bottles, and corn-based bio-materials for a truly circular shoe.
Anything Can Be Changed
This is the second collaboration between the Milanese shoe brand and the Varese luxury label. ACBC, which stands for Anything Can Be Changed, partnered with the fashion house last summer on a sustainable shoe made from wheat straw and recycled plastic bottles in the iconic Missoni zigzag style.
The two recent collaborations come after Angela Missoni, daughter of founders Ottavio (Tai) and Rosita, stepped down last year after 24 years helming the brand known for its psychedelic styles and elaborate knitwear.
“My parents invented a new language in fashion,” Missoni told Business of Fashion. “And I think over the past 25 years I’ve been able to extend the lexicon of this language.”
CEO Livio Proli told Women’s Wear Daily that part of Missoni’s future is dusting it off and making it “more relevant and cool.” Sustainable shoes are certainly both as younger consumers are seeking sustainable options. Recent surveys found not only are Millennials and Gen Z shoppers eager to find sustainable options, but they’re willing to pay more for sustainable options. “We want to offer elements of surprise in a more modern language while not betraying Missoni’s roots,” Proli said.
ACBC, which launched in 2017, became the first Italian footwear brand to become a certified B Corp. Its sustainability commitments continue to build its ethos around this standard.
“The theme for us is not ‘made in’ but ‘made how’,” co-founder Gio Giacobbe told Millionaire last month. “So not where you produce, but how you produce. If you have to produce in Italy, but without the sustainability certifications (which can relate to pollution, electricity, employees, contributions paid) we prefer to produce abroad. To reduce the impact, we do not let the materials travel, that is, we produce in Asia with Asian materials and in Europe with European materials.”
The brand’s signature shoe was a zippered shoe that separated the upper from the base, giving consumers a sustainable way to change shoes without needing new pairs. The single sole concept alone reduced CO2 emissions more than 45 percent. It used Tencel’s biodegradable materials.
Sustainable Italian luxury shoes
Luxury labels have been no stranger to sustainable shoe offerings recently, including leading Italian houses, Gucci, Valentino, and Prada.
Gucci’s Off the Grid collection features several sustainable styles, and Prada has launched several sustainable shoes. Earlier this year, Valentino launched its first foray into sustainable footwear with two bio-based vegan sneaker options.
“At Valentino we are building on our history and legacy with a new attitude and a new culture based on a couture culture which I believe is absolutely vital to our next chapter. A culture of values is what we are injecting in Valentino,” chief executive officer Jacopo Venturini, told WWD of the launch. “I am committed to this mission, I believe this is going to be key for the future.”