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Lemonade Footwear’s Path to Eco-Friendly Fashion

Lemonade Footwear’s Path to Eco-Friendly Fashion

Founders Sandy & Sigi in conversation with Balance The Grind... 

Lemonade Footwear’s Path to Eco-Friendly Fashion
Sandy and Sigi discuss the creation of Lemonade Footwear, focusing on sustainable materials, affordability, and timeless designs for children's shoes.

MAY 15, 2024

In this conversation, we sit down with Sandy and Sigi, the dynamic duo behind Lemonade Footwear, a brand born out of frustration and a desire to create quality, affordable, and gender-neutral kids’ shoes.

With backgrounds in design, buying, retail, and production, they set out to make footwear that not only looks great but also stands the test of time. Sandy and Sigi share their insights on balancing sustainability with affordability, overcoming challenges in sourcing eco-friendly materials, and the vital role their community of five children plays in product development.

Sandy and Sigi, what sparked the idea to start Lemonade Footwear, and how did your personal experiences influence the vision for the brand

The spark for Lemonade flew straight out of our frustration! Picture this: searching high and low for quality kids shoes that wouldn’t break the bank for our kiddos. We couldn’t help but notice how so many things were labelled as ‘for girls’ or ‘for boys,’ and we thought, “Why not make something that could be passed down to younger siblings or friends regardless of gender?”

With our backgrounds in all things design, buying, retail, and production, we dreamed up this brand. Lemonade became our way to create, well-designed, durable footwear that doesn’t care about what’s hot this season—they’re just always cool. And the best part? They’re affordable for everyone!

Can you talk about how you balance the dual goals of sustainability and affordability in your children’s footwear line?

Our secret sauce for keeping things green and pocket-friendly? Well, we’ve got a nifty recipe! First off, we skip the middleman and do everything in-house. That means no extra layers, no markups just for the sake of it. This in-house approach enables us to invest more in sustainable practices and materials, even if it means sacrificing short-term profitability.

We’re all about the long game, we’re building something that lasts. No discounts, no flashy promos—just fair, upfront prices. We’re in it for sustainability, building a long-term brand that values both sustainability and profitability equally, because why not have your eco-friendly cake and eat it too?

What challenges have you encountered in sourcing materials that meet your environmental and quality standards, and how have you addressed them?

Making sure our materials are both Mother Earth-approved and top-quality.. It’s been a wild ride, but we’ve embraced the challenge with open arms and a playful spirit! Sustainability isn’t just a checkbox for us—it’s the heart and soul of what we do.

Step one. We hunt down the greenest, most eco-friendly materials out there. Finding fabrics that are comfy, tough-as-nails, and gentle on the planet. We’re like eco-ninjas, making sure our shoes can handle everything from playground escapades to dance-offs without skipping a beat.

We dive deep into our designs, making sure every stitch and sole matches our eco-warrior ethos. It’s not just about looks; it’s about functionality too. Our shoes can handle whatever adventures come their way.

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword for us. It’s woven into every fibre of our brand, ensuring that our shoes are as planet-friendly as they are kid-approved.

How do you ensure that your footwear designs stay appealing to both kids and their parents?

You know how we keep our kicks cool for both kiddos and their grown-ups? It’s all about soaking up inspiration from everywhere! For me, that means watching how my girls move, groove, jump, play and climb.

Here’s our secret: we don’t chase after trends like a squirrel after nuts. Nope, we’re all about timeless styles that go with any outfit, any time. Think classic meets skate park, giving our shoes that down-to-earth charm that fits in anywhere.

We’re on a mission to blend functionality and style seamlessly. Comfort? You betcha. Durability? Like a boss.

What role has your community of five children played in the development and testing of your products?

Our little ones are the real MVPs in our product world! Lemonade was dreamt up with them in mind. We get the struggle parents face—wanting top-notch shoes for their kiddos without breaking the bank.

Our girls are like idea factories in turbo mode. Take our latest creation, Tallow, perfect for those wobbly first steps—it was all inspired by Sigi’s youngest daughter.

Our mini squad of product testers, give us the lowdown on everything from comfort to durability. Their feedback is pure gold, helping us fine-tune our styles to the highest standards!

Could you share a memorable moment or breakthrough in your product development journey that reinforced your commitment to this venture?

What a whirlwind of growth and love we’ve had in the past year! A pivotal boost was teaming up with the fabulous folks at Number One Shoes in New Zealand—70 stores strong! This partnership not only expanded our reach but also validated the demand for our products in the market.

What truly warms our hearts is hearing from our amazing Lemonade lovers! Whether it’s messages on social media or those “made-my-day” emails from parents, our community is something we are immensely grateful for.

Looking forward, what are your aspirations for Lemonade Footwear in terms of growth and impact on the industry?

We’re dreaming BIG! Our goal? To make Lemonade a household name for awesome kicks that tick all the boxes: quality, sustainability, and timeless style. We’re not just talking about local fame; we’re setting our sights on the global stage, from the sunny shores of the US to the chic streets of Europe!

And innovation? It’s in our DNA! We’re always on the hunt for the latest eco-friendly materials because being green isn’t just a trend—it’s our mission to shake up the industry and make a positive impact.

We’re teaming up with Aussie brands and designers to bring exciting new collections that reflect our shared love for creativity, diversity, and making a splash with a positive impact. We’re not stopping at shoes. We’ve got our eyes on expanding our accessories range too, all while staying true to our fresh and eco-friendly vibes.

It’s gonna be a wild ride, and we can’t wait to share it with you!


Lemonade Footwear’s Path to Eco-Friendly Fashion - Balance The Grind