Footwear

The London-Based Designer Championing Post-Consumer Waste Reveals First RTW Sneaker

Helen Kirkum and everything you need to know about her London Fashion Week presentation.

By
720 Hypes

The London-Based Designer Championing Post-Consumer Waste Reveals First RTW Sneaker

Helen Kirkum and everything you need to know about her London Fashion Week presentation.

Helen Kirkum is a London-based artist and designer internationally renowned for leading the sustainable footwear movement and her devotion to artisanship. The Helen Kirkum Studio proudly revealed its first ready-to-wear sneaker, dubbed Palimpsest, during its London Fashion Week presentation.

Designed in London by the Helen Kirkum team and made by the Sheffield-based footwear manufacturer Goral, Palimpsest is an innovative and exciting launch that follows the studio’s made-to-order spirit. With the release, Kirkum continues her endeavor to weave together repurposed materials that create new meaningful narratives in each sneaker.

Palimpsest, defined as “something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form,” highly resonated with the designer’s endless dedication to giving deadstock many more lives. Using discarded single sneakers sourced from Traid Warehouse, the sneaker uppers are created from repurposed materials and stitched by Love Welcomes – an organization that provides compensated work to refugee women.

Incorporating post-consumer waste, the ready-to-wear sneaker, assembled with repurposed and recycled materials sourced from the E.U. and the U.K., features a Forplas Recy sole made of 100% industrial waste and Everloop IG, which contains 30% industrial waste too. The sneaker also sports a Corn leather lining, insoles made from 98 per cent recycled content, and heel tabs created from single multicolored discarded laces.

Following the designer’s deconstruction-reconstruction aesthetic, the tongue label has traditional stitch lines designed into the graphic and red stitching in reference to the red pen used by the factory to correct errors – the phrases “Made in England” and “An artefact crafted from single shoes” can also be read.

“My goal has always been to create an easy-to-wear, everyday sneaker with a rich material story behind it,” shared Kirkum in an exclusive press release.” To create something that we recognize but are not used to seeing. The stories of the materials are deeply ingrained within each pair, with layers of memories and textures. As always with our studio, I wanted to create the feeling of bespokeness, so each one is still unique.”

In an interview with Hypebae during her London Fashion Week presentation, Kirkum mentioned that the studio had wanted to launch a ready-to-wear sneaker for a while and that now they have finally achieved a tangible system to create upcycled sneakers — the “World is their oyster.”  The designer continued, “What is very special about every single pair is that each is different, even if they have the same silhouette, the right and left shoe have different special details.”

A limited number of pairs, priced at £590 GPB (approximately $680 USD) are now available for pre-order via Helen Kirkum’s website until September 25.

In case you missed it, check out Hypebae’s guide to the most popular sneakers at NYFW SS23.

Read Full Article
Share this article

What to Read Next

INTERVIEW: Meet Johanna Parv, the London-Based Designer Creating Solutions for Dynamic Women
Fashion

INTERVIEW: Meet Johanna Parv, the London-Based Designer Creating Solutions for Dynamic Women

“I don’t design for idols, I design for the contemporary woman standing in the street.”
1,037 Hypes

London-Based Label Ahluwalia Taps Brand New Vision to Launch NFTs at LFW
Fashion

London-Based Label Ahluwalia Taps Brand New Vision to Launch NFTs at LFW

“Web3 is not a diverse place,” says Priya Ahluwalia.
1,758 Hypes

Introducing ABAGA VELLI, the London-Based Brand Loved by Little Simz
Fashion

Introducing ABAGA VELLI, the London-Based Brand Loved by Little Simz

Due to launch its first ready-to-wear collection in 2023.
2,224 Hypes


6 Designers to Watch at London Fashion Week SS23
Fashion

6 Designers to Watch at London Fashion Week SS23

Introducing Masha Popova, Susan Fang and more.
38,147 Hypes

Lori Harvey’s Mini Baby Braids Are Bound To Be Hot Fall 2022 Hair Inspiration
Beauty

Lori Harvey’s Mini Baby Braids Are Bound To Be Hot Fall 2022 Hair Inspiration

Leave it to Harvey to curate a hot trend for the cooler months.
31,624 Hypes

Disposable Sex Toys Are the Sex Industry's Latest Catch-22
Sex & Dating

Disposable Sex Toys Are the Sex Industry's Latest Catch-22

Inclusive, yes. Sustainable? Not so much.
1,796 Hypes

The Most Popular Footwear at New York Fashion Week SS23
Footwear

The Most Popular Footwear at New York Fashion Week SS23

From slides to sneaker-heels.
3,799 Hypes

Cardi B’s Massively Long French Manicure Has Been Dubbed "Courtroom" Nails
Beauty

Cardi B’s Massively Long French Manicure Has Been Dubbed "Courtroom" Nails

Will the nails last her through 15 days of community service though?
6,397 Hypes

London Fashion Week SS23: Day 1 Highlights
Fashion

London Fashion Week SS23: Day 1 Highlights

Courtesy of Karoline Vitto, Poster Girl and more.
3,927 Hypes

COS FW22 Collection Delivers the Right Amount of Dopamine
Fashion

COS FW22 Collection Delivers the Right Amount of Dopamine

Presenting mood-boosting knits.
2,434 Hypes

PrettyLittleThing and Beauty Influencer, Amrezy Debut First-Ever Beauty Collab During New York Fashion Week
Beauty

PrettyLittleThing and Beauty Influencer, Amrezy Debut First-Ever Beauty Collab During New York Fashion Week

“The collection is very inspired by NYC. All the names are very dear to me.” — Amrezy.
3,049 Hypes

'Love Is Blind's Deepti Is the "Highlight" of Kyle's Life, He Reveals
Sex & Dating

'Love Is Blind's Deepti Is the "Highlight" of Kyle's Life, He Reveals

Tune in for the cutest moment you’ll witness today — sorry Shake.
3,095 Hypes

Dua Lipa Turned "One Kiss" Into "One Fragrance" for YSL Beauty’s Libre Le Parfum
Beauty

Dua Lipa Turned "One Kiss" Into "One Fragrance" for YSL Beauty’s Libre Le Parfum

The brand presents you with an invitation to experience one of its sexiest floral scents.
3,421 Hypes

An Editor's Photo Diary From New York Fashion Week SS23
Fashion

An Editor's Photo Diary From New York Fashion Week SS23

A behind-the-scenes look into one of the year’s biggest fashion events.
6,598 Hypes

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Keep updated on the latest news.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.