Voylok: Footwear for the (Re) Wild People

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The Voylok mission statement is simple. Make the most sustainable footwear in the world that allows people to unplug and get closer to nature.

Voylok as a brand, as a collective of likeminded individuals, truly epitomises our Sustainability in Surfing: A New Wave ethos.

Who are Voylok?

Voylok is a story of four friends.

Four very different people, from different places, with different backgrounds. Four people who were looking for something more from life.  Not more money, or more things, but more purpose. 

Voylok was born from a feeling. The sense that perhaps the city, the high flying careers, or the expensive cars, aren’t the true measure of success. Maybe success is less materialistic, and more metaphysical…

As is so often the case, there was an ephipany, a realisation that occurs when seeking ones own purpose, that helping others is, in fact, the catalyst for success. In the case of Voylok, helping people to re-connect to a natural way of life is what makes them truly successful.

Our dream is a world where everyone has the luxury to unplug + get closer to nature.

The Ultimate Surfing/Vanlife Footwear

If you’ve ever owned a pair of quality natural slippers you are going to know exactly why I am so excited about Voyloks! Imagine the warmest, comfiest pair of indoor slippers, perfectly “broken in” and moulded to your feet. That sensation of sliding chilly, post surf session feet into a cocoon of warmth and comfort, that synthetic fibres just cannot replicate.

Now imagine those slippers are wearable outside, in the most hostile of conditions!

Voylok have taken a traditional Siberian approach to footwear and given it a unique and modern twist.

Wool and hot water (yes you read that right) are combined in small workshops using ancient methods, combing out the balls of wool, and growing and sculpting the boots layer by layer. No seams, chemicals, bleach, or dye. I did say they were wild didn’t I? When the boots are ready, they are dunked in hot water and dried in a wood-fed oven fuelled with waste from local forestries. 

I’ve yet to witness a process that embodies the essence of slow fashion and small batch manufacturing as much as Voylok.

The beautifully crafted, sumptuous natural wool felt inner boots are tough enough to withstand anything you choose to throw at them, but Voylok take things one step further. The natural rubber overshoes, with built in tread, turn your luxurious toe warmers into genuinely robust outdoor boots!

Ingenious!

Let’s talk about last night…

Here in the UK we are enjoying our Springtime weather. For those of you who know this tends to mean the occasional warm day (amongst the rain showers), but with chilly evenings and mornings. The ocean, however, has yet to properly warm up and is currently around 53°f.

Last night we pulled our van up at one of my favourite camping sites, overlooking a beautiful left hand reef break for a chilled out overnighter. As the sun began to set I jumped in the sea for an hour of solo wave sliding.

After a dozen or so waves the light was gone. My feet were a bit numb and walking up the sand, and across the dew covered grass really finished them off.

Sliding my feet into my Voylok Classic Boots was a pleasure I can barely put into words. I put on the overshoes and went about the business of lighting the BBQ and cooking dinner, all with toasty warm feet!

Jumping in the van, removing the overshoes and kicking back with a glass of wine was more comfortable than it has ever been. I’ll let you into a secret, I even slept in my Voyloks…

Truly Sustainable Processes

Voylok take immense pride in doing everything they can to reduce their impact on the planet.

All Natural Materials

They use only natural, untreated wool and the manufacturing process creates zero waste.

FSC Certified Rubber

Voylok are currently in the process of identifying and transition to FSC-certified rubber plantations that guarantee broad and strenuous environmental and biodiversity protections, as well as ethically sound worker conditions.

Zero Packaging

The guys at Voyloks very quickly established that packaging is where so many “green-washed” companies really fall short on an environmental basis. They utilise RePack for a zero packaging approach, foregoing superfluous boxes and wrapping. I actually loved the fact that my boots even had a few bits of hay in them!

End of Life Commitment

Every pair of Voyloks has a remarkable end of life process. When your boots are worn to the point of no return (trust me we are talking years!) simply pop the rubber overshoes in the recycling bin, and dig the inner boots into you garden as compost. Tell me another shoe company who can boast of those credentials?

The Stuff That Other Brands Tend to Forget (Ignore)

The company have identified that literally everything they do, whether working at their laptops, or demands placed on the servers that operate their website and social channels, use resources and create emissions. Voylok track all of these, rigorously, and ensure that any impact is offset through partnership initiatives.

Rewild the Planet

The foundation upon which Voylok is built is one of Rewilding.

Rewilding is a proven theory of conservation that revolves around restoring balance in nature. Using a variety of methods – from regenerative agricultural practices, to encouraging Mother Nature to just do her best work, it’s a low effort, high reward solution to the survival crisis that is facing humanity.

While we’re not close to perfect, we have consciously chosen to build VOYLOK to do as little harm as possible. We map the carbon impact of every step of our operations, from the sheep grazing, all the way to your feet, and create a full Carbon P&L to sit alongside our traditional accounts. 

The next time you are looking for a pair of boots or shoes, please take the time to consider Voylok as your number one choice. Not only will you get stylish, functional footwear that aligns perfectly with your lifestyle as a surfer, you will be doing your part towards supporting a brand who’s primary concern is the wellbeing of Mother Earth and all her residents.

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