THE REAL JELLY: An Origin Story
There is a lot to be said about original thought. It takes courage, and a rebellious, disruptive spirit to go against the flow; to innovate; to invent and dare to be different. Sometimes it's lonely at the top, doing something that not everybody understands. But who said life was meant to be easy?
Melissa - one of the world's favourite footwear brands - has carved a niche for itself by constantly pushing the boundaries of design, fashion, art and technology. Melissa created the original "jelly" shoe back in the 1970s, and it is here to reclaim the crown.
With its new collection THE REAL JELLY, Melissa shows us what it does best - fabulous, fun and colourful jelly shoes that celebrate the past and look to the future. In eye-popping candy tones, THE REAL JELLY makes the impossible look effortless, creating footwear technology history.
But first, a little history lesson.
The sheer magnitude of plastics on the market today, and its impact on our everyday lives, makes it difficult to imagine that less than 100 years ago plastic was almost non-existent. While contemporary ecological concerns about single-use plastics makes the material less popular (more about this later), many of the most iconic and innovative designs of the 20th Century were produced out of this flexible, mouldable material.
Riding the wave of the 1970s design boom, where Italian industrial designers such as Kartell and Ettore Sottsass for Olivetti, experimented with space-age plastic equipment and furniture (there's a great article about the history of Plastic Fantastic furniture design here); Parisian fashion designers like Pierre Cardin experimented with plastic fashion; and a Brazilian company called Melissa was formed to create footwear out of plastic.
Taking inspiration from a traditional leather French fisherman's shoe, Melissa created what is now the Possession - the waterproof, flexible, unisex sandal design that has inspired school kids and hipsters and copycats the world over. A design icon was created.
We need to rethink the way we look at plastic.
As consumers, we need to make informed choices about what we buy, and from whom. Single-use plastics such as straws and packaging that is instantly discarded ends up in land re-fills or waterways - this we know.
But Melissa shoes, which are made in Brazil, is actively seeking to reduce its carbon footprint. Melissa shoes are made to be worn for years, passed down to friends or family, and are fully recyclable.
Melissa shoes are made from a patented PVC called Melflex - a combination of recycled factory waste (every pair of Melissa contains minimum 30% recycled Melfex) mixed with other recyclable, non-toxic materials. Melissa is now experimenting with new forms of recycled or biobased materials to make the product even more ecologically sound.
Every pair of Melissa shoes is cruelty-free and recyclable. Importantly, the shoes are made in Brazil and hand-finished, ensuring each pair is made with love and to be passed down for generations.
For more information about Melissa's sustainable practices, please read here.
So get REAL
For Melissa, THE REAL JELLY collection looks to the past in order to go forward, while new shapes such as streamlined sandals and the incredible Melissa Airbubble push the boundaries of fashion.
So what are you waiting for? Click here for the future of footwear.