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Sustainability + Sneakers: David Filar

Sharing tips and advice, our guests shed light on the importance of mindful consumption and the other ways they choose to make an impact. We chatted with David Filar, Director of Product Creation & Design at ENDSTATE, and an artist who creates to inspire. Here’s what he had to say when it comes to sustainability in an industry that’s not inherently sustainable.

Common Ace: What are some ways in which consumers can be more mindful when it comes to sustainability in sneakers and streetwear? 

David: Be more thoughtful when purchasing a product. Do you really need this release, or do you want it? Will this product benefit you long-term, or is it just a short-term materialistic fix? Secondarily, I usually ask myself how frequently I would wear this sneaker if I did purchase it. If the answer isn't every day because I love it so much, then I don't need it. If someone is really interested, start reading and do research about the product. Where is it sourced, the materials used, and are any of the components recycled? We all need to become more educated in this space.

Common Ace: Who would you say is doing a great job of moving the dial when it comes to sustainability in streetwear?

David: Both are on the individual creator side: Helen Kirkum and Nicole McLaughlin for very different reasons. Helen was so early in all of this, taking deadstock materials or upcycling old products to create these beautiful handcrafted pieces of footwear. And then Nicole, but not because of the amazing, cheeky, fun items she creates, rather that she's inspired thousands of other creatives to think differently who have gone off to their employers or started their own companies with a more sustainable mindset. It's the residual effect of putting that mindset out into the world. 

Common Ace: Who/what would you say plays the biggest role in the lack of sustainability in sneaker culture? 

David: There are a number of challenges to overcome if we want to see a more sustainable sneaker culture. The first is probably the lack of education from the brands about the products they are producing. Second, those same brands will drop something with 90% recycled this or that, and then the next week release something completely contradictory to those previous beliefs. Everyone is trying to figure out their lane and messaging around sustainability while still maintaining a business, and that means selling more things making this challenging. But lastly, let's not just blame the brands. We, the consumers, are still rabid about this space. There are so many conversations where people feel FOMO and “have” to buy the next drop.

Common Ace: One of the best ways to be mindful is to invest in sneakers you’ll have for a long time. What's one of the most timeless silhouettes in your mind? 

David: This is going to be a totally unique and probably unpopular opinion, but the BrandBlack Aura is one of my favorite shoes of all time. The independent brand out of Los Angeles absolutely crushed the silhouette and you can wear it with anything.

Common Ace: Seeking alternative materials is obviously important, but a lot of consumers may not know what it is they should even be looking for. What are some great alternative materials we’re seeing used these days?

David: The most mainstream one in sneaker culture is probably Parlay which is in partnership with Adidas. But there are plenty of brands who have a new offering of a product made from fully recycled components, it just takes some research on the consumer's side to find these products.

Common Ace: What's your most loved/most worn shoe in your rotation right now? 

David: It's between two pairs. The first is the Bodega x Hoka Ora sandal that came out a couple months ago. Shout out to Drew from Bodega for the love. It's summertime and they’re perfect for sliding in and out of. And the second is going to be a total plug, but an honest one. I joined a startup recently, Endstate, and I've been wearing the brand's first release regularly. They’re fully knit and manufactured in the USA, wildly comfortable, and aesthetically aren't like anything else. And that last part is always key for my rotation, to not walk into a room with the same sneakers as someone else. 

Common Ace: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

David: Thank you a million for asking me for my opinion! Love what CC does and am also a big fan of Common Ace making moves in the industry. Much love!

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite picks from eBay Sneakers for this summer. Shop them here.


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