Jamie of Nelson Made On Making Footwear With Respect – For People And The Planet

1 month ago | Features

Jamie Nelson in her studio in Melbourne.

We’re extremely excited to present our exclusive collaboration with Nelson Made, the Luna Ankle Boots, which are made from recycled leather, which are those perfect ankle boots we’re wearing every day this winter, and which are currently available to pre-order here in extremely limited quantities.

To celebrate, we caught up with Jamie, founder and designer of Nelson Made. After loads of experience in the conventional fashion industry and becoming frustrated by certain parts of it, Jamie founded Nelson Made to do things differently and to craft footwear with respect for people and the planet.

Over the past few years Nelson Made has become one of Australia’s leading footwear brands, with a cult following for its directional, colourful sandals. Nelson Made’s flat footwear is crafted by Jamie and her small team in her Melbourne studio, and Nelson Made’s heeled footwear is crafted in the label’s Qualspec-certified partner factory in China.

Here, Jamie walks (sorry not sorry) us through her inspiration, her new boot collection, and how she works to minimise the impacts of her beautiful footwear.

Well Made Clothes: Tell us about the design process behind these boots: what was the initial inspiration, and how do you develop that into a boot you’re really happy with?

Jamie Nelson: My design inspiration always comes from the women around me. I love thinking of my friends and family and designing the perfect pair of shoes for them! I think about their lifestyles and the way each of them dresses to express themselves.

I went through no less than ten iterations of the Luna boot before I arrived at something I felt married the perfect silhouette with my core values. It sounds like something that would be easy to achieve – the perfect ankle boot – but it’s simplicity was the challenge. I wanted to create an elevated staple perfect for workdays that was uncomplicated and versatile. I wanted something that felt timeless but still had that special NM twist, so I considered everything from the smooth curve of the heel to the minimal seamless upper.

WMC: And these boots are made from recycled leather! Can you tell us a little bit about the issues with conventional leather and how recycled leather reduces these impacts?

Jamie: Footwear needs to be extremely durable, so the materials traditionally used have huge environmental impacts.

Recycled leather is made from certified post-manufacture waste leather collected from tanneries and footwear factories. By diverting these waste materials from landfill they are able to be recycled into new material that can be used as a virgin leather replacement.

By using pre-existing leather, no new chemicals are used in the tanning process, and energy and water usage during production is heavily minimised.

Recycled leather can be recycled infinitely, too, which makes it circular. Circularity is a crucial component of a new more sustainable fashion industry.  “Our recycled leather is a modern statement of what the future of fashion looks like. It offers the same luxuriously soft and breathable qualities as virgin leather without the environmental impact associated with leather production”  Jamie

WMC: What are your ongoing design inspirations?

Jamie: The women in my life and what they wear to express themselves. Art, architecture and photography.

WMC: And what are you working on at the moment?

Jamie: We are working on a magic collab that is launching at the start of June, alongside designing our Resort 22 range. We have lots of exciting things to share just around the corner!

Shop our selection of Nelson Made footwear here.


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