Sustainability

ILYSM is committed to ethical low impact production and high impact initiatives, balancing quality and longevity of product with responsibly sourcing materials. Our future initiatives are focused on lowering our carbon footprint and moving towards a circular supply chain.

Our engineered knit uppers are produced on Shima Seiki Wholegarment machines, saving 30% of waste material over traditional sneaker upper construction.

Materials

We use recycled, low impact, and naturally derived materials whenever possible, weighing the sustainability/impact of the material with the durability and aesthetic function of the design as a whole.

The yarn is spun by a mill in Guangdong, China, which specializes in natural, traceable, and sustainable products, with Oeko Tex 100 and GRS 4.0 certifications.

Our Silk Tabi upper is constructed from  of 50% recycled polyester, 40% viscose, and 10% silk. The footbed is cushioned by a layer of felted Australian mulesing-free merino wool and supported by two layers of recycled foam. The upper is lined with Umorfil™, a sensitive-skin-friendly, biodegradable material synthesized from recycled fish scales and viscose.

Our Vegan Tabi upper is knit from recycled polyester spun from post-consumer water bottles. The removable recycled-foam insole is topped with cork, a breathable, renewable natural material. The upper is lined with Tencel lyocell, a fiber produced from sustainable sourced wood via environmentally responsible processes. Tencel is breathable and comfortable worn next-to-skin.

Our tabi socks are knit with bamboo, a sustainable and renewable fiber with a silky, smooth handfeel.

Manufacturing

To produce the sneaker, ILYSM partnered with an innovative footwear studio in Guangzhou, China, that pays its workers a competitive salary and provides housing and meals for employees and their families. The average wage at our factory is 3.44x the minimum wage in in Guangzhou, China.

While our upper knitting process is automated and high tech (with technician oversight), the rest of the process is touched by human hands every step of the way.

It’s easy to picture a factory full of machines and robots producing your sneakers, but the truth is that the process of assembling is incredibly labor intensive.

Although we eliminate steps in the manufacturing process by utilizing digital knitting and laser cutting in our upper construction process, your sneaker still passes through 31 stations; up to 135 workers touch each sneaker during the assembly process: knitting, stitching, cutting, lasting, gluing, refining, checking quality, and packaging, and many, many more have touched each raw component before it reaches you.