Last year, you sewed your own masks. This year, why not sew your own shoes?

The footwear industry churns out 23.4 billion pairs of shoes annually in a global supply chain that is responsible for 1.4% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. One designer’s solution? Make your own shoes from upcycled fabric.

While most DIY fashion projects tend to result in objects that are not very fashionable (just take a look at my homemade scarf collection), Polish designer Iga Węglińska wants to equip people with the tools to make fashionable products at home using everyday materials and simple techniques. She has designed a simple sneaker silhouette that has a modern aesthetic but also looks classic and timeless enough to wear for years, even as trends come and go.

Węglińska, who is based in Krakow, serves as the head of fashion design at the Academy of Art in the Polish town of Szczecin. She received a grant from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland to develop a series of three DIY fashion objects—a ring, a sweater with a reflective panel, and a pair of shoes—whose design would be open source, available for anyone to download using links on her website.


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