You may not remember it like it was yesterday but back in 1938, Salvatore Ferragamo designed a rainbow sandal for the legendary actress, Judy Garland. Fast forward decades, and the Italian brand has chosen to bring back the sandal with two core values: celebrating the bond between the tradition of ‘Made in Italy’ and a commitment to sustainable development.
The result is a shoe that walks the walk and talks the talk. Ferragamo’s Creations collection presents 100 pairs of a sandal called ‘Rainbow Future’. No ordinary shoe, it’s a hand-finished platform made from veritable wood, crafted in organic crocheted cotton that has been certified in accordance with global environmental criteria, finished with leather linings with no carbon dioxide emission or water consumption.
Salvatore Ferragamo has long chosen to adopt a social responsibility strategy that pursues economic growth, while being mindful of the impact of its actions in the environmental sphere.
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More so, the Rainbow Future is complete with sewing thread in 100% recycled material, water glue, and non-galvanised brass. The sandal is wrapped in 100% biodegradable cotton bags and recyclable FSC cardboard shoeboxes. When you open up the shoebox, you’ll also notice a limited edition certificate describing the shoes history and special characteristics. A code written on the certificate will link each pair to a tree planted in the countryside on the outskirts of Catania, Sicily, in support of the organisation Treedom. Clients (that’s you) will be able to follow the tree’s life and development online.
It’s worth adding that the sandal has obtained the ISO 14067 certification, whereby it is now possible to calculate the emissions due to its making and compensate them through reforestation programmes, making it a “carbon neutral” shoe.
Back to Judy Garland.
The late Salvatore Ferragamo is described as something of a renaissance man with radical footwear designs. Often playing with different materials and experimenting with the shapes of heels, the most famous of these unique designs was the Rainbow — multicoloured platform that defied heights (and colour). The original sandal featured a layered cork sole and a heel covered in suede.
These designs come from the exclusive Ferragamo’s Creations line shoe archive, kept in Florence’s Palazzo Spini Feroni at the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo. With this line, limited numbers of some of the brands most famous historical models are reintroduced and entirely handmade using the original constructions, leathery and shapes. Naturally, they all bear the brand’s label which was designed by futurist painter Lucio Venna in 1930.