Shoeface is a sustainable Japanese company that makes shoelaces by upcycling old kimono, scarves and traditional fabrics from both Japan and overseas.
The resulting shoelaces breathe life, love and character back into vintage fabrics, and are 100% one-of-a-kind, meaning that the wearer of Shoeface’s shoelaces can be certain that there are no others like them in the world.

Shoeface’s production value is limited, because each design requires detailed technology and careful craftsmanship to produce. Every fabric chosen for repurposing as a shoelace features a different pattern, size, material and condition, so an expert level of care is needed in order to meet the company’s high quality expectations. Because of this, the company tried and tested several shoelace-making factories and craftsmen, before deciding on those they work with today.
The unique nature of each fabric means that the craftsmen have to consider each shoelace as a singular design, and they have come up with a variety of techniques and ways to produce them.

Shoeface hopes to teach others that even if an old item cannot fulfill its original purpose, that doesn’t mean it needs to be discarded, and can instead be reborn as something with new value. Occasionally the designs feature stains, frays and tears, but Shoeface believes that these add to the historical character of the fabric and tell the story of the journey that it took to be here.

Shoeface designs are full of colour and quirkiness that are perfect for sprucing up simple sneakers, which may otherwise spend a lifetime stored inside a getabako (the shoe cupboard located at the entrance of a home).
Although it is only a small thing, changing up your shoelaces can bring a sense of satisfaction not too dissimilar to when we wear a new piece of jewellery or a new hat – as some might say, ‘It’s all in the details’.

Shoeface SDGs Promise

Shoeface began back in early 2020 as a sustainable brand motivated by SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) to create high-quality products that mixes the old and the new. The company upcycles old fabrics and limits their fabric purchases from places that focus on SDGs. If they can’t source the material in a sustainable manner, then they actively choose not to use that fabric in their productions.

The company’s sister site; Odds and Ends, also focuses on repurposing any stray bits of material – used in the production of a Shoeface shoelace design – as fashionable drawstring bags, shoulder bags and handbags. The bags from Odds and Ends make great accompaniment to any style featuring Shoeface shoelaces.

As a company that is motivated by sustainability, Shoeface aims to tackle the following SDGs:

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
By recycling, upcycling and sourcing sustainable materials, Shoeface is able to bring old things back to life with a renewed purpose.

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Shoeface partners with packaging workers from Day Work Center KomiKomi, which supports the employment of those with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and those who are undergoing therapy and rehab.

The brand normally partakes in e-commerce only, but from July 2 to July 16 a pop-up store selling some of the company’s most popular creations will be held on the 1st floor of Tokyu Hands Hakata in Fukuoka.

This pop-up store will feature 32 shoelaces from the company’s most recent scarf repurpose, before they become available on the official online shop. The event will also include a number of summery designs from repurposed kimono and kitenge fabrics.

Shoeface Pop-up Store

Date: 2 July – 16 July 2021
Location: 1F Tokyu Hands Hakata, JR Hakata City, 1-1 Central Street Hakata station, Fukuoka City
Business hours: 10:00am – 20:00pm

By - Connie Sceaphierde.