Our Story

My name is Tanya Mulesa and I am the founder of Cleverstein – the world’s first sustainable chameleon shoe brand for women.

Before starting Cleverstein, I spent countless hours on the road in a corporate role. Running around cities meeting clients and of course socialising at the end of a long day. All these events require different outfits and shoes. So, I ended up taking 3 pairs for a 2-day business trip. And surely you don’t want to put on the same dress on each trip. We, imaginative women, want variety, colours and comfort at the same time. My collection of shoes grew every season.

After 12 years working in the sustainable energy industry, I found myself with around 70 pairs of footwear, half of which I didn’t wear and the other half I would wear once a month or so. It felt like a lot of clutter and waste. And surely not very environmentally sustainable. It was a wake-up call to optimise wardrobe. But I would be really compromising on the number of styles I want. And I really didn’t want to tame my love for shoes. It would have been as soul-destroying as the fact that I was polluting the environment. You can’t win…. Unless you put a creative hat on.

I left my job and decided to make it my life mission to tackle this problem. After quite a few sleepless nights I came up with a chameleon circular shoe solution. It would allow someone to considerably reduce their number of shoes without compromising on variety and comfort. “Circular” means the shoes are not meant to end up in a landfill. More on this on our Sustainability page.

And so, Cleverstein was born! Our mission is quite simple: provide the world with the footwear solution for better comfort and environment, which takes less space.

What does Cleverstein mean?

Then there is brand name…one thing I know for sure: it is more difficult to name your company than your child…it took about 3 months to come up with it. So, what is Cleverstein? It is a traditional German surname, which means “clever stone” in English. it reflects the clever design of the footwear and pays tribute to the country, where sustainability is deeply engraved in its culture. Germany has one of the most effective and oldest recycling, energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in the world. Their sustainable lifestyle serves us as a benchmark.