Nasty Shoe Facts

When you look at an athletic shoe, think oil. Some shoes contain cotton, leather, and/or trace amounts of natural rubber. But what you lace up before pounding the pavement is probably an assortment of industrial chemicals derived from hydrocarbons. Two petroleum-based synthetics—polyester and polyurethane—make up 36 percent of the weight of a typical running shoe, including packaging; these synthetics are responsible for 57 percent of the carbon footprint of the shoe’s materials. From extraction to the end of the shoe’s life, the entire carbon footprint of this typical pair of running shoes is equivalent to using a 100-watt light bulb for a week. *

Petroleum = Oil



Polyurethane foam, used in the shoe upper, contains tiny air cells produced in a chemical reaction called the “blow reaction.”



Polyester accounts for 11 percent of the shoe’s weight. (1)


More plastic than fish in the sea by 2050



According to a new Ellen MacArthur Foundation report launched at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, new plastics will consume 20% of all oil production within 35 years, up from an estimated 5% today. Plastics production has increased twenty fold since 1964, reaching 311m tonnes in 2014, the report says. It is expected to double again in the next 20 years and almost quadruple by 2050. Despite the growing demand, just 5% of plastics are recycled effectively, while 40% end up in landfill and a third in fragile ecosystems such as the world’s oceans.



Research released a year ago found there were more than 5tn pieces of plastic floating in the seas, many just 5mm across. Larger items can be a threat to sea life such as turtles and seals, which swallow them. Scientists have also found that countless tiny fragments drift to the bottom of the oceans, carpeting the sea bed. The environmental and health impact of this is unknown. The report concludes that the plastics industry is comprehensively failing to address these issues... Joya's innovative solution for the rubber based insoles came from an exercise in Design Thinking... and Coconuts.



Modern footwear is surprisingly damaging in various ways. As the pace of fashion has quickened we’ve begun buying more shoes, and throwing them away more easily. Traditional shoe-crafting has given way to mass-production, eating up resources and sending an average of three pairs of shoes per person to landfill every year! The quest for cheaper and faster production has also encouraged the exploitation of vulnerable workers through long hours, low pay and dangerous working conditions.



Our mission to challenge this trend. We believe shoes should be things you fall in love with, and they should be created to last. We also believe you should be able to buy your shoes guilt-free, safe in the knowledge that they were created with love for people & planet, and with respect for traditional craft communities. That’s why we created the Joya Pledge.


Recycled Plastic Textiles

Made with thin layers of ECOSUMMER textile developed from Recycled Plastic technology,  Up to 9 bottles are recycled for every square meter of this material.

Hand-woven Textiles

Handwoven textiles made by Ecuadorian women and sold at the Otavalo Market. Most of the Ecuadorian people belong to the Mestizo ethnic group, famous for their art and music.

Upcycled Rubber Soles

The soles are 100% recycled, though of synthetic nature, from production scraps that were used in car and furniture manufacturers.

Recycled Coconut Foot mattress

The 8mm foot mattress is made of  coconut fiber  recycled and coated with a layer of natural latex, it creates a cushioning effect that reacts to body heat weight and movement  allowing the coconut fiber to mold to the foot as you wear it.



We strive to develop innovative ways to source all our materials from recovered waste, creating entirely new products. The coconut fibers are derived from recovering waste with which the company develops and markets a new output (our coconut foot mattress). For every pair of Joya shoes made we eliminate 2 PET Bottles with our recycled denim textiles are eliminated from the landfills where they are usually burnt generating harmful Carbon Dioxide into our atmosphere.



Investing in a hand-made production line enables Joya to have more control over its manufacturing practices, insuring a better quality of life for our employees. Our one of kind collections are never the same due to the nature of its production, our Galapagos Collection features hand woven textiles from indigenous tribes from Ecuador, once purchased that print  will never come into production again. We hope you join us in this effort to empower artisan women, carrying on their traditions in an industrialized world, our goal is to find and give a voice to artisan's all over the world, showcasing their work through our limited edition collections.

 The Galapagos Collection



Three years ago, creator and lead designer Cynthia Tello left her comfortable life as a print designer for the denim brand “7 for all Mankind” in Los Angeles California, to embark on the creation of Joya Da Terra: a sustainable, zero-waste shoe, that draws on the benefits of the coconut tree. "I was shocked by the amount of chemicals used by the fashion industry, my dream career turned into a nightmare" explains the 38 year old designer." I knew deep in my heart there was a better way to make innovative products from what we find in nature, unfortunately that now includes plastic. Through Design thinking I found an alternative material (coconut fiber) better for your foot health than any synthetic product found in the industry, one that molds to your foot as you wear it, and absorbs moisture protecting you from fungus and unwanted odors.


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