1. AGE (Across to Genuine Era)
AGE footwear is designed and manufactured in Korea, the land of all-things-cool-now. The brand’s design philosophy is informed by its motto “flow of time”, which sees AGE drawing from the past and present. What’s from the past is AGE footwear’s classic silhouette and the materials used: canvas/cotton upper and vulcanized rubber sole. What’s new about AGE is its uppers that come in plaid, all-white, and whatever is in trend these days. AGE shoes come in high- and low-top options.
Prices range from S$150-190, now available at Club 21.
Compass shoes, designed and made in Indonesia, are like a hybrid of Vans and Converse sneakers. Compass offers just two models, the Gazelle in high-top or low-top. Prices are incredibly friendly; each pair is priced at no more than S$30. Compass shoes are perfect for wearing and trashing – what shoes were made for, really.
Shop the collection on Tokopedia – we don’t know if it ships outside of Indonesia (we reached out to Compass but didn’t get a reply).
Veja’s founders goal was to make good quality sneakers sustainably and transparently. To that end, the brand has revealed on its website all the steps taken to make their shoes sustainably. While fascinating, the website loads ever so slowly. Here are the key takeaways: Veja has bought organic cotton directly from farmers for the past 14 years and its shoe soles are made of 18-22% natural rubber, which comes from the 195 tons of wild rubber Veja purchased in 2004 (an act that helped to preserve 120,000 hectares of the Amazon forest). The bottomline: Veja sneakers cost five times more to produce than big brand sneakers and yet retails at reasonable prices. We think Veja is worth the investment for all its efforts in making things more economically equitable for everyone involved in its production chain.
Retails at US$106-152 (approx. S$143-205) at Oxygen Boutique.
What are your thoughts on these non-mainstream sneaker brands? Heard of any of them? Leave a comment below.