Eco-friendly footwear brand Sylven New York is introducing a plant-based sneaker range sourced from produce that can be found in a regular kitchen. For Earth Day on April 22, the company plans to roll out the Mel sneaker which will be the world’s first sneaker made from apples and coconut. The handcrafted sneaker will use apple leather, coconut husks, and a tree sap-based renewable rubber to create a fully sustainable shoe.

Sylven New York plans to utilize this new natural material to create future shoe ranges. The brand recently announced that it will transition to manufacturing a completely vegan line of clothes by the end of the year. So far, the company’s current collection is 50 percent sourced from plant-based materials. The Mel sneaker will kick off a completely new line and style for the brand, available in two colorways for $275: White with red accents and black with natural stitching.

The brand partnered with Bon Appetit’s first vegan chef Chrissy Tracey for the shoe’s launch. In order to spotlight the edible material used in the shoe, the chef created a vegan apple and coconut cobbler recipe. The recipe will highlight the sneaker’s natural ingredients and will be released alongside the shoes this Earth Day, April 22.

“We love to play with a material that sounds like they could be ingredients,” Creative Director and founder of Sylven New York Casey Dworkin said. “It was such a natural fit to work with someone like Chrissy to play even further into the apple and coconut combo.”

The new shoe will be dedicated to combatting high fashion’s current relationship to production waste. The company aims to draw attention to the materials used to produce much of the popular merchandise on the market and the way products get tossed after photoshoots and fashion shows. Sylven New York launched a portal on its website to sell barely-worn footwear instead of simply tossing these items.

“If something has the tiniest scuff on the sole from a photo shoot or fashion show, you can’t sell it as a new product as an e-commerce brand,” Dworkin said. “As someone who is so specific about minimizing waste in my production cycle, I wanted to find a way how I could fight this common industry problem. You can’t truly be a sustainable brand and be wasteful.”

Sylven New York’s plant-based apple and coconut shoe comes after many footwear giants have introduced vegan shoes. Adidas launched a plant-based shoe made from mushroom leather and UGG released a new line of vegan shoes that are carbon neutral. In January, Nike also revealed the first SB Dunk made from vegan leather. Sylven's Mel sneakers join a growing list of new plant-based footwear fashion, tackling the customary fashion manufacturing


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