For a future worth living, both civil society initiatives and companies that work regeneratively whilst being committed to giving space to nature are needed. Regeneration – this idea connects the company Wildling Shoes and the non-profit initiative Rewilding Europe.
From 2020 to 2022, Wildling Shoes supported the work of Rewilding Europe, among other things, through its membership in the non-profit organization "1% for the Planet", which connects companies with high-impact non-profit partners. As Wildling Shoes is affected by the current global economic situation in various ways, we unfortunately have to stop direct financial support at the end of 2022 – but Wildling Shoes and Rewilding Europe will remain connected, both ideologically and in practice.
Wildling minimal shoes can help to regenerate our bodies, to maintain the joy of natural movement and to connect with our environment. Wildling Shoes as a company is forging new paths towards regenerative business management, relying on cooperation to break up old systems and reimagine them. Fair production conditions, sustainable and innovative materials, nature restoration projects and New Work are the foundation for a regenerative effect on all levels.
Rewilding Europe is committed to restoring various European wildlands, bringing biodiversity back to them and exploring new ways in which people can earn a fair living in harmony with the wilderness.
Image: Ivo Danchev
On track to wilder Rhodope Mountains
The Rhodopes are located where Europe and Asia meet. Until the end of 2022, the partnership of Rewilding Europe and Wildling Shoes focused on this region with a holistic approach, focusing on nature conservation as well as ecological-social economy and education. All these areas should be reconciled with each other.
Image: Ivo Danchev
The blog posts provide moving insights into the Rewilding Rhodopes activities and the great motivation of the team on site: "If we let it, nature will recover by itself.“ and "The most valuable thing we have is freedom and a life in connection with nature.“
The profusion of sounds and images coming from the regenerating plant and animal world in the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains beckons us to make time for our very own moments of regeneration. This is what inspired the Wildling team to create "Re:generative Sounds", a small virtual treasure chest for all those who seek and want to find regenerative moments in everyday life.
Image: Wildling Shoes
Inspired by Rewilding
The design of the model Zora is inspired by the Rhodopes: The all-over print (on the outside for children's sizes, on the lining for adult sizes) tells the story of the foxes and deer, orchids and trees, mountains and lakes, which all together make up the healthy, biodiverse ecosystem that Rewilding Rhodopes wants to give space to.
Image: Nora Tabel | Wildling Shoes
And the ideas keep on bubbling
Wildling Shoes and Rewilding Europe remain committed to each other because the common mission to promote regeneration on various levels has lost none of its urgency. For the year ahead we can look forward to ideas about very special Portuguese wool.
Rewilding Portugal focuses on the restoration of the Côa Valley in the north-eastern border region between Portugal and Spain. Within this framework, Rewilding Portugal works in partnership with shepherds and, for example, provides them with herd protection dogs. Wildling Shoes buys the wool of the shepherds in these programs at a price far above the market value.
From this wool, which comes from very different breeds of sheep, Wildling Shoes is currently developing a new yarn in which these diverse types of wool are spun together. What sounds simple is full of challenges: A robust yarn must be created from wool fibers of very different lengths and thicknesses, which can meet the high requirements for the longevity of Wildling minimal shoes. After all, we will conjure up very special models from this very special yarn.
Until then, we are working on further joint ventures. Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn followers of Wildling Shoes can already look forward to a reunion with Rewilding Europe. And for all those who would like to support Rewilding Europe individually, there are support options directly on the Rewilding Europe website.
Cover image: Ivo Danchev