These Cool, Minimalist Sneakers Are Brought to You by the ‘80s

Wado makes sporty white kicks with a save-the-planet ethos

March 28, 2018 9:00 am

It’s not always bad to have one foot stuck in the past. Especially if the other one is doing good things in the present.

Witness Wado, a new line of unisex sneakers inspired by the ‘80s but carrying a very modern ethos regarding sustainability.

The trio behind Wado wanted to create a more ethical counterpoint to fast fashion. “But we didn’t like how expensive sustainable brands could be, or sometimes they just didn’t make the kind of stuff any of us actually wanted to wear,” says Lizzie, one of the company’s co-founders.

Centering their shoes around the ideas of sustainability, good working conditions and affordability, Wado’s off-white kicks are crafted from chromium-free “bioleather” in Portugal in a workshop dedicated to fair wages and green processes. To boot: they plant two trees in the northeast of India for every sale. And the prices start under $100.


The company’s first sneaker, the MODELO 89, arrives in one of five colors (all white with green, black, garnet, off-white or blue accents), with a cork detail on the tongue. As Lizzie notes, “We were inspired by the sneaker culture of the ’80s, but also draw from modern minimalism. We want the sneaker to be based in simplicity.” A bit Reebok-like, the shoes sporty but polished.  

Wado’s sneakers are available for 20-50% off during Kickstarter preorders depending on how many you order; they’ll also throw in a nice cotton tote. Deliveries arrive in June. The project was funded in its initial 24 hours and runs only through the end of March, but the founders told us the strong demand inspired them to offer the sneaks on Indiegogo InDemand as soon as the Kickstarter ends.

That’s forward thinking.

For more spring shoe picks, check out our guide to white sneakers.

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