Hi, I'm Jeroo Doodhmal - Founder of Pip & Henry
When my daughter (who’s now 5) came into our lives, I was really amazed and shocked by the sheer volume of ‘stuff’ that consequently entered our lives…and this really started to bother me. On the one hand I was showing her Blue Planet documentaries, wanting her to be more inspired by nature and animals and to treat our world kindly and thoughtfully.
On the other, she was outgrowing clothing and footwear faster than I could have imagined and that I could effectively recycle. Further research showed me that…
…kids typically outgrow shoes every 3-4 months in the early years of their lives, with an average child owning 15 pairs of shoes over the course of a year.
That’s 80 million pairs of children’s shoes bought in the UK alone.
Most of these end up in landfills, decomposing slowly and leaching harmful chemicals and toxins into the ground and water for 1000s of years.
So, I believe the time is ripe for a change in the way this everyday product is made and disposed of, and that’s what set me on the path to build Pip & Henry.
How can we impact the environment as little as possible?
How can we make sure people in our supply chain are paid fairly?
How can we inspire our children to be little change-makers and be more mindful about the environment?
These are some of the questions top of our mind every single day.
It actually costs us 3-4 times more than traditional high-street brands to produce a pair of children’s shoes. There are multiple reasons for this, including the fact that 80% of each shoe (and all of our packaging) is made from eco-friendly materials. We spent a long time finding and testing these materials, making sure what we used would be kind to the planet, comfortable to wear and durable enough for children to tear around in, as they love to do. In addition, we produce shoes in small batches, making sure we're far less wasteful while being flexible and adjusting to demand.
Scroll down to find out more about the specific materials and manufacturing principles we go by when developing our shoes.
Given our small batch manufacturing, in the majority of cases we use off-cuts of materials wasted in our factories - ensuring that we play a role in reducing industrial waste. That said, the materials we select are of high quality, soft and comfortable for little feet, yet durable and long-lasting. Here are some of the materials we use:
PINEAPPLE LEAF FIBRE - A strong and breathable textile made from the waste leaves of pineapple plants which are a by-product of existing pineapple harvest.
ORGANIC COTTON - Grown without the use of chemical pesticides and from non-genetically modified seeds.
TPR SOLES - Lightweight, strong, weather resistant and slip resistant, it has the ability to easily be melted, recycled and reused. We use both recycled and virgin TPR, and even add in recycled cork for some styles
Moreover, our shoe boxes (made of recyclable cardboard) are designed to be used as a children’s game…ensuring the box continues to deliver value and use long after they are received.
We believe the best way to make children more aware of the impact their daily choices have on the environment and help them feel empowered to drive change is through playful and fun story-telling. As part of our commitment to change we created the characters Pip & Henry who, through our storybooks and games, help children understand how they can make better choices to help improve our environment.
Finally, we offer a free and easy-to-use shoe recycling service for all shoes and in return, customers get £10 off your next Pip & Henry order.
80% of our shoes are made of environmentally sustainable materials. We are extremely proud of this statistic, it is one of the highest in the children’s footwear industry, and we are committed to making 100% of our materials sustainable through supplier partnerships as we grow.
In addition, we are considering ways in which to extend the lifetime use of every shoe - through repair and re-use, as well as through design innovations that can extend the lifetime use of each shoe. We are investing heavily into R&D and we expect to bring out some really innovative footwear concepts within the next year.