Wilderness gear company Astral will be adding shoes with a hemp canvas-based upper to its collection of sustainably-manufactured footwear. The brand, based in North Carolina, specializes in high-performance footwear alongside home products, apparel and other outdoor gear, all made with minimal environmental impact.
The three new hemp styles are an extension of the brand’s existing performance-casual collection made from a blend of cotton and recycled plastic. Two styles, the Baker and Loyak, are unisex, and the Maria is a women’s style. The shoes join Astral’s expanded eco-conscious collection, which features other apparel items as well as home goods made from hemp fiber and recycled polyester.
Hemp is a popular fiber in outdoor gear, thanks to its durability and abrasion resistance. The fiber is also antimicrobial and UV-resistant, which has driven its implementation in mountaineering and sailing gear. Those benefits will imbue Astral’s hemp footwear line with heightened performance. Hemp is also known for its ecological properties.
“Our new hemp shoes are some of the most sustainable shoes you can find,” Astral founder and CEO Philip Curry said in a news release. “Hemp is good for the earth.”
Unlike many plastic-based fibers, hemp is durable while still petroleum-free, said Curry. Astral’s hemp product is grown without pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers, he added, and requires 21 percent less water to grow than cotton.
“[Hemp] was an obvious choice for designing the ultimate outdoor and lifestyle footwear hybrid,” Curry said.
Each style features a hemp canvas upper stitched to an outsole made from Astral’s proprietary G-Rubber, which is flexible and grippy for navigating uneven or slippery terrain. The Baker is described as an “easy-wearing, everyday slip-on,” while the Hemp Loyak is a hemp version of the original, low-profile shoe. The Maria, the women’s shoe, features decorative embroidery on the uppers for added style.
Astral’s hemp line is available now on the company’s website, or in stores across the country.