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 textiles. 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.

winde rienstra

She also enjoys working with natural fabrics like wool and silk, as they are highly pliable and can be crafted into either light, delicately draped shapes, or chunkier, bolder silhouettes.

Winde also believes that such materials are better for the environment than acrylics and polyesters, and so should be used more often in fashion. 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 and 3D printing in her work, and she is certainly not afraid to experiment with materials that are not conventionally used in fashion design, such as bone.

Architectural Footwear

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Perhaps what Winde Rienstra is best known for is her sculptural shoes.

Indeed, it’s with architectural footwear made from found objects (such as old string and necklaces) and 3D printing that Rienstra is really making her name. Although some other designers, such as Iris Van Herpen and United Nude, are also creating architectural shoes through 3D printing techniques, Reinstra’s stand out for their sustainability, thanks to their use of upcycled materials.

As incredible as her footwear may be, I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to walk in any of these shoes! 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.

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 proudly states that 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!

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Image above: AMSTERDAM FASHION WEEK SS14. All images courtesy the designer

Chere Di Boscio
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