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Our Story

My name is Tanya Mulesa and I am the founder of Cleverstein – the world’s first sustainable modular 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.

Eventually, after 12 years working in the sustainable energy industry, I found myself with around 50 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 closet and review the environmental credentials of my wardrobe. When I interviewed 500 women in London about their footwear habits, I learned that I wasn’t alone in the search for a better shoe solution.

I decided to tackle this problem. After quite a few sleepless nights I came up with a convertible shoe solution… “modular solution” to be more precise. It would allow someone to considerably reduce their number of shoes without compromising on variety and comfort.

And so, Cleverstein was born! I left my job and focused on building up this new shoe ownership concept. Our mission is quite simple: provide the world with the footwear solution for better comfort and environment, which takes less space.

We are working on more styles of shoes, so watch this 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 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.

Sustainability

The fashion industry is arguably the second most
polluting industry in the world.

At Cleverstein we are on a mission to build zero-waste fashion practice. Join us.

Reduce

Regenerate

Repair

Recycle

REDUCE

Our design and business model help to Reduce the number of shoes that women need and the amount of pollution these shoes generate. We run our operations on renewable energy, we use upcycled virgin waste to manufacture our accessories, as well as biodegradable packaging.

REGENERATE

We help to Regenerate oxygen resources used in our supply chain by planting a tree for every pair of shoes we produce. For this, we partnered with WeForest organization, who employ women in disadvantaged farming communities in Zambia to plant and look after tropical trees. Planted in the tropics, the trees collect carbon emissions and give out oxygen throughout the entire year.

REPAIR & CARE

We encourage the Repair of shoes half-way through their lives. We 1. show you environmentally-friendly care options. 2. help you to find a suitable shoe cobbler or arrange it for you. 3. are available for consultations on the best repair options and costs. Just email us at hi@cleverstein.com.

RECYCLE

We incentivize the Recycling of the shoes at the end of their lifespan. If you think that your shoes can no longer be repaired, or you simply need a new pair, we will give you a 20% discount on the new pair of Cleversteins in exchange for your old shoes. Our partner organization Soex will either recycle them for fibers or will send them to the pre-loved market if deemed still wearable.