MIRET Eco Sneakers Win First Place, Gold, and Silver at Global Footwear Awards

Daniela Rogulj

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The Global Footwear Awards recognises the efforts of talented footwear designers around the world and aims to celebrate their exceptional creations on a global scale while honouring sustainable practices that will inspire the industry as a whole. 

Among the world-class competition, Hrvoje Boljar won 1st place overall in the category of Materials Sourcing for the MIRET project, and Gold in the category of Materials sourcing/Biodegradable materials. For her MIRET Forest Dark collection, Ana Boljar won Silver in the category of Materials sourcing/Biodegradable materials. 

The Global Footwear Awards jury consists of leading industry professionals whose talents and contributions to the footwear community are aspirational. They are professionals coming from different disciplines within the footwear industry including major publications, retailers, and institutions such as Vera Wang, Adidas, Prada, Hugo Boss, Roberto Cavalli, London College of Fashion, Royal College of Art, MIT Institute of Design, British GQ, Vogue Italy, and more. 

Global Footwear Awards is MIRET’s second major recognition, after receiving the IDA International Design Award in 2020

Recognised as a forerunner in sustainable footwear

This award is a great acknowledgment of MIRET’s 6 year-long research and work, but also a great encouragement for future work.

Photo credit: Domagoj Blažević

“This award is great recognition for our hard work and research, and we are very proud and grateful.

We are at the beginning of the era where sustainability comes first. As ecology is our primary goal, through the MIRET project, we try to inform the public and shed light on the urgency of environmental action needed. We are fully aware that everything we humans make hurts the environment, but there are ways of doing things better. This award best shows in which direction we are going and what we are striving for,” said the MIRET founders. 

Photo credit: Domagoj Blažević

Domagoj and Hrvoje got involved with the footwear industry when they were very young and saw the industry first-hand from the inside. They realised that the products of the industry are incompatible with nature and that the entire process from raw materials to the end of the product’s life-cycle is toxic to the environment. From that moment on, the most important thing was to start doing things in a better way, one material at a time, component by component, step by step.

The primary principle of the award-winning MIRET project is ecology. With so much plastic in the earth, air, and water, with so many huge environmental problems surfacing every day, they have personally developed a sort of a phobia and disgust towards plastics and toxic chemicals. They embarked on a quest for healthier materials and for manufacturing partners willing to listen, willing to acknowledge there was a problem, and brave enough to try to make a change.

Six years later, MIRET sneakers are at 97% bio-based content. The brothers say that MIRET is far from being completely sustainable, and a lot of work needs to be done, but they are on the right path.

Materials as their strength 

They are actively trying to develop new materials and manufacturing techniques that will render their products more eco-friendly. Believing that everything starts with materials, they design their products starting from materials up.

New technology is key to developing future materials, but old unused knowledge must not be disregarded. The world before synthetics and oil was much more in tune with nature. There are more sustainable alternatives already out there, it is just that they were abandoned because they were not able to compete with petroleum-derived plastics, economically wise. One other important thing to note is that our relationship to the environment and nature starts already at home and in educational systems. So what thrills them is a shift in design schools happening all around the world, which is slowly moving the emphasis from designing products, towards material research and development. 

So, what’s next?

“Our plans for the future are to develop new generations of our sneakers and work towards more sustainable solutions,” concluded the MIRET founders. 

Photo credit: Domagoj Blažević

Learn more about the amazing MIRET project by visiting the official website here, and read more about MIRET’s eco sneakers on TCN HERE

For more news about everything made in Croatia, be sure to follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Supported by Zicer 


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