Coziness and circularity, craft tradition and forward thinking, minimalism, and sophistication – there is much more to the Lotus model than its puristic appearance suggests. But one after the other…
With Lotus, the first slipper joins the Wildling Shoes range. At last! Because this fulfills a long-cherished wish of the Wildling Shoes community. And just in time when the temperatures drop outside and the need for cozy warmth increases.
Cozy winter days
That's where wool comes into play. The Lotus upper is made of 100% wool felt, which feels soft and warm against our feet. At the same time, it is lightweight and breathable. Thus, provided with a comfortable snuggliness, our chances are good to be able to enjoy cozy winter days.
Lotus. Image: Nora Tabel | Wildling Shoes
And if we have passed the winter cold and darkness comfortably, it will eventually get warmer again. After winter comes, spring, summer, autumn – the cycle keeps on going.
Nature works in cycles: New things are always created from the old. Inspired by the principles of nature, Wildling Shoes wants to have a regenerative effect on all levels and move step by step towards circularity.
This is not a circular product.
Lotus is one of those steps. Even though we are not there yet: It lays the groundwork. Its design with only three main components, wool, thread and sole, makes it possible to separate them by type later – an indispensable prerequisite for getting closer and closer to our ultimate goal: complete recycling.
Wildling Shoes has embarked on a journey and will work on developing the necessary techniques and collection facilities to recycle models such as Lotus as completely as possible, when they have one day – very likely many years down the road – reached the end of their wearability.
Even though we are still on the way, Lotus lays the groundwork to achieve this vision one day. As it carries this forward thinking within itself, Lotus also carries a hidden invitation in its luggage or rather under the carpet (anyone who holds the Lotus shoe box in their hands will see what it is all about): Let's close the product cycle together! Those who send worn slippers back to Wildling Shoes one day – most likely after many years – are contributing to further developing the cycle.
Lotus is shaped high in the north, in a family business that has existed for more than a hundred years in Finland. To this day, high-quality felted footwear is produced here using traditional methods and a high proportion of manual labor.
In the workshop there is a smell of wool and warm felt. The raw material for the shoes is long sheets of woolen fabric, from which the – twice the size of the final shoe – blanks are cut. The blanks are felted until the desired quality is achieved.
Images: Maria Mäbert | Wildling Shoes
Lastly, they are shaped into their final form on a last while they are wet and then must dry in order to permanently solidify their sturdy snuggliness. A stroke of luck for everyone who loves Wildling shoes and has been waiting for a slipper for a long time, because this kind of felt handicraft tradition is now mastered by only a few companies throughout Europe.
Good things take time
And just like that, the slipper is ready to conjure up cozy warmth to our feet. Just like that? It takes eight days for a pair to go through all steps in the production. Can anything still be missing? Indeed. After all, what would Wildling shoes be without their sole, which manages to combine the feat of barefoot feeling with stability and durability.
Nelus. Image: @marigedo
As the first Wildling Shoes model, Lotus features a new sole. Following the idea of minimalism, it is even more reduced to the essentials and thus conserves resources.
On top of that, the Lotus sole hides a very special surprise in its new design. Ingenious and yet easy to find – right?
Live Consult session: introducing the slipper Lotus
The Wildling Shoes Live Consult sessions regularly provide information and tips about Wildling Shoes minimal shoes and projects. Of course, there is also time for questions to the team.
The recording of the Live Consult session with a special focus on Lotus is available here:
Cover image: @marigedo