Accessories Fashion

The Awesomely Eco Shoes Of Winde Rienstra

You could say designer Winde Rienstra is ‘making strides’ in eco friendly fashion. Here’s why

By Chere Di Boscio

While Chanel and Dior may be the highlights of Paris Fashion Week for many, and Burberry is often the star of London Fashion Week, when it comes to Amsterdam’s turn, for most, Winde Rienstra is the most anticipated talent on the runway. And with good reason.

Her incredibly unique work is situated at the boundaries of fashion, art and architecture. Central to what she does is her feel for materials. She has a particular fondness for natural materials like wool, silk and wood, and she is especially fascinated by the patterns that you can read in the grain. For her, these lines and flaws are a reflection of both the grotesqueness and the beauty of life.


She also enjoys working with natural materials like wool and silk as they are highly pliable and can be crafted into either light, delicately draped shapes, or chunkier, bolder silhouettes as the warrior-like shoulders above and below illustrate.

Winde also believes that such materials are better for the environment than acrylics and polyesters. But don’t for one second think this designer isn’t also very keen to use the latest innovations in technology, too. In fact, she often uses modern techniques such as laser cutting in her work, and she is certainly not afraid to experiment with materials that are not conventionally used in fashion design, such as bone.


But perhaps what Winde Rienstra is most famous for is her use of simple, found objects to create shoes. We love this idea! Imagine you’ve got a big event, but nothing to wear, and your good friend, Winde, sees some plexiglass, wood, string, or even some Lego pieces, and comes up with the coolest shoes you’ve ever seen.


Indeed, it’s with architectural footwear made from found objects that Reinstra is really making her name. Although some other designers, such as Iris Van Herpen and United Nude are creating architectural shoes, they often do so via 3D printed moulds. Reinstra’s found object technique is much more eco-friendly, but no less innovative or architectural.

Still, I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to walk in any of these! That being said, it does seem possible: not only have several models managed to rock this footwear without breaking an ankle, but celebs including Grimes and Lady Gaga have even marched down red carpets in these vertiginous wedges!

winde reinstra shoes

This talented designer is definitely as dedicated to being green as she is to innovation. After winning the Dutch Idol Design awards in 2007, she entered The Green Fashion Competition in November of 2010. The event, held yearly by the Netherland’s Ministry of the Economy and Agriculture, is a prestigious one. No surprises to learn that Rienstra earned a spot in the finals for her work.

She claims her work is eco-friendly not only for its choice of materials, but also for working on  slow-fashion principles. These pieces are meant to last. After all, according to the designer, her work is a balance between fashion and art. And art lasts forever. This is truly green couture.

Winde Rienstra shoes

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Chere Di Boscio

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