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Eco-Friendly Vivaia Trades Free Flats for Social Media Shoutouts

Women’s footwear brand Vivaia rolled out a campaign last week giving 200 “testers” an opportunity to try out a pair of its eco-friendly flats in exchange for social media exposure.

The “New Product Testers Wanted” campaign, launched Nov. 24, offers applicants three collections to choose from: Aria, Tamia and Bella. One of its “evergreen series,” Aria has been updated with vibrant colors, Vivaia said. Tamia, by comparison, offers an animal pattern and flattering silhouette. The newest release Bella, with its “creatively added lace-ups,” is “an ideal choice for effortless chic,” the brand said.

Each selected tester will receive one style to try on. Those who post feedback on social media will receive extra bonuses, including a lifetime 20 percent discount as well as priority access to future new product tests and online and offline events. This kind of rapid product feedback can help Vivaia determine what consumers like and dislike about a product and address any issues before committing to high-volume production, saving money and setting it up for greater success.

For a chance to be one of the scheme’s 200 testers, applicants must selection one of the collections’ more than 20 styles, fill out relevant personal details and link to their social media accounts. The application period closed Tuesday.

Vivaia's "New Product Testers Wanted" campaign offers participants free flats from its Aria, Tamia and Bella collections

The brand 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.

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Vivaia, founded with a mission “to create stylish and sustainable footwear that is eco-friendly and responsible,” has used recycled materials and 3D knitting technology to drive a zero-waste process, the company said. Picked not just for its quality, price and speed, its Dongguan, China, factory “frequently improves the working conditions and benefits for their employees” and “works on reducing impact on environment as much as possible,” it also noted.

Vivaia joins a growing collection of brands devoted to offering sustainable footwear. Earlier this month, Thousand Fell launched a follow-up to its original vegan sneaker, kicking off a series of limited-edition drops and new product releases. Like Vivaia, Thousand Fell creates its made-to-be-remade footwear from recycled plastic-bottle pollution.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles sneaker brand Clae, which has long used vegan materials in its collection, introduced its first pair of kicks made with cactus-based leather this month also.