Made in Antwerp: this sustainable shoe collection is a glimpse of the future

Fashionable, innovative and sustainable: to call this shoe collection exceptional is an understatement. These three striking pairs of shoes, boots and sneakers are made, designed and launched by Custom Territory, an Antwerp fashion collective. Thanks to the city’s strong focus on innovation, resulting in financial support for this project, Antwerp was the obvious location to launch this sustainable and circular collection.

Bringing materials, expertise and infrastructure together

People don’t associate shoes and sneakers with sustainability. Brands create hype after hype, often resulting in enormous amounts of waste. Next to that, shoes belong to a globalized market, using materials from all over the world. That is why Custom Territory developed a circular shoe collection, made of materials from Antwerp and that way reducing its ecological footprint to an absolute minimum. Mathias De Winter: “We believe a circular economy is a local one. Antwerp, as a fashion capital, was an obvious choice for us to test our assumptions and to prove we could craft a true circular product."

Together with the support of the City of Antwerp we have shown economic resilience can be obtained by bringing materials, expertise and infrastructure together, but the process also emphasized the added cultural value.

Customizable design

Custom Territory asked three local artists to each design a pair of shoes: Joffrey Anane, Frederik Lizen and Liezl Vervloet, owner of vintage designer shop “I was thrilled when they asked me to design a pair of circular shoes. It’s perfectly in line with what I do. I want to show people that you shouldn’t always have to buy new stuff. That’s why my boots are customizable. Depending on your mood, you can adapt the shoes by changing the parts. And very important to me: the boots had to be city proof."

I walk a lot in Antwerp and these boots with a wide heel, made of recycled bottle caps that were found in the river Scheldt, are my perfect companion.

Made in Antwerp, where else?

Since the success of the Antwerp Six, Antwerp is known worldwide as a hub for creativity and innovative entrepreneurship. This collection of unique shoes will only boost Antwerp’s identity as a quirky fashion capital and as a perfect location for companies and organizations that are active in fashion and sustainability.

The city of Antwerp invests 1 million euro in innovation

The shoe collection is not the only innovative product that was developed with support of the city of Antwerp. The city made available 1 million euro for businesses to turn their smart ideas into useful products. These solutions will help to futureproof Antwerp’s economy:

  • The Future of shopping: a unique shopping experience in Antwerp’s Stadsfeestzaal with computer vision, virtual reality, biometrics and robotization (by Retailhub)
  • Makerspace in The Beacon: a meeting space and workshop with digital fabrication tools for companies, organizations, knowledge institutions and citizens (by IO Lab)
  • An innovative machine that produces filter material for high-end face masks (by Talenco – Topolina)
  • Researching the use of digital bracelets for contact-tracing in large crowds (by Rombit)
  • Wearable products which allow Covid-19 patients to leave the hospital sooner while they stay under medical supervision (by Byteflies)
  • A unique circular cleaning product that consists of benign bacteria (by YOKUU)
  • Intelligent sorting of waste using deep learning (by PolyPerception)

Want to know more about Antwerp, the retail & fashion capital?


man is creating a sustainable shoe
© Eileen Vancraenenbroeck