Piracaianas: The perfect shoes for an eco-friendly pathFrancesca Palange
Already as a child, Maria was interested in fashion, mannequins and craftsmanship. When the time came to make a decision, she went to study Fine Art, Fashion and Design in Ssuso Paulo and it was during this period of her life that she got immersed in the world of shoes. After several working experiences and continuing education in shoes and fashion, Maria decided to dedicate her time to the development of eco-friendly footwear.
“I researched into the history of footwear, natural materials, techniques for weaving plant fibres and using natural dyes, working closely with communities that have dedicated themselves to living in a more sustainable way such as eco-villages.” This is how Piracaianas was born in 2013, promoting designs inspired by the safety and wellbeing of the environment and people involved at all stages of the process, from sourcing the raw materials to manufacturing, from the item in use to the waste generated.
The first Piracaianas were actually created with all kinds of scrap: straws, old handed down fabrics, unusable off-cuts and fish leathers. Maria values the small scale of the work and currently her organisation has the capability to meet the demand for a thousand pairs of shoes a month. But hopefully this number will increase and Pircaianas will need to make adjustments to how the work is organised in order to keep the handmade process.
In the 2015 Spring issue of No Serial Number magazine, Maria tells how she set up her own eco-friendly enterprise: how she selected the materials (particularly fish leather), which were her potential markets, how she selected her palette of colours and much more. A unique story to get inspired get started with your own ideas! Go find your copy of No Serial Number magazine or buy it now before they are all gone!
The latest issue of the print magazine packed with interviews and features on eco and heritage artists and artisans is available now.
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