In late November, Vivaia introduced a campaign that gave 200 “testers” an opportunity to try out a pair of its eco-friendly flats in exchange for social media posts.
A month and a half later, those reviews are in, giving the women’s footwear brand not just a well of testimonials it can now draw on, but also a critical wave of social media exposure.
“I’m never the one to skimp on aesthetics but finding a pair of beautiful flats that can comfortably carry you for hours without blistering your feet or hurting them, has always been a tough hunt,” wrote one Instagram user, @eman.mohammd. “I walk long and fast and most flats don’t stretch to accommodate either.”
The campaign offered participants three collections to choose from: Aria, Tamia and Bella. One of its “evergreen series,” Aria had been updated with vibrant colors, Vivaia said. Tamia, by comparison, offered an animal pattern and flattering silhouette. The newest release of Bella, with its “creatively added lace-ups,” provided “an ideal choice for effortless chic,” the brand said.
Each selected tester received one style to try on. Those who posted feedback on social media received extra bonuses, including a lifetime 20 percent discount as well as priority access to future new product tests and online and offline events.
So far, well more than 50 Instagram users have posted using #vtester. These participants come from around the world and have together received thousands of likes.
In addition to the flats’ style and comfort, influencers participating in the “New Product Testers Wanted” campaign highlighted their sustainability. According to Vivaia, every pair of flats is made up of six discarded plastic bottles recycled from the ocean and all packaging is created using 100 percent recycled cardboard.
“But my favorite thing of all (and the reason I really wanted them rather than other brands) is that they are sustainable,” wrote @haspassportmusttravel. “[Six] plastic water bottles were used to make them, preventing them from being broken down into microplastics and harming marine life. So my feet look and feel good, and I am also doing good.”
Vivaia uses thread derived from chipped plastic bottles to build its eco-friendly uppers. So far, it said, it has recycled more than 150,000 plastic bottles from the ocean. Its footwear, which includes boots, loafers, vegan shoes and high heels in addition to ballet flats, feature a natural latex insole to minimize odor, insole arch support for stability and a soft and breathable knit upper.