Anna and Ran Yona founded the company Wildling Shoes in 2015. After Anna had completed her degree in Middle Eastern Studies and English literature at Tel Aviv University and worked in marketing and as a freelance translator and journalist, the couple initially remained rooted in Israel. Their three children grew up barefoot there before the family moved to Germany in 2013. At that point, finding suitable shoes for kids who were used to running around barefoot became the biggest challenge. None of the models seemed to meet the requirements in terms of freedom of movement, sustainable materials, and fair production. And that’s how the idea of Wildling Shoes was born.
Wildling Shoes are minimal shoes for children and adults, handcrafted in Portugal using robust and durable materials and made predominantly from eco-friendly natural materials – in full compliance with fair working conditions and environmental standards. Because of their thin, flexible, and innovative sole, they positively impact the wearer’s walking experience and overall health. Unlike conventional shoes, minimal shoe design facilitates a natural gait, restoring the joy of movement to everyone. Wildling seeks to broaden this positive impact to all of the areas it can impact as a company – to people, to the environment, and even to the way we do business.
Wildling Shoes views itself as part of a great re:generation – the generation that must now do whatever it takes to meet the great challenges of our time – climate change and social injustice. Inspired by the principles of nature, we want to translate the regenerative impact of our shoes to our own company and the way we do business. We don’t merely want to minimise damage, but to have a positive impact with every step we take. We want to blaze new trails by building bridges that are grounded in appreciation, empathy, and solidarity. And to do so together – because we are the re:generation. We are all part of a generation that must now forge ahead to show that business can work like a healthy ecosystem – balanced, inclusive, diverse, and regenerative at every level.
Today, Wildling Shoes employs more than 200 people – most of them women, young parents on a part-time basis, who work 100% remotely and digitally from their home offices. Wildling Shoes has received multiple awards for qualities that go beyond its New Work approach, including the “Gründerpreis NRW 2018” and the “KfW Award Gründen” as the state winner for North Rhine-Westphalia in 2019. The groundbreaking and sustainable design of these minimal shoes was honoured in 2020 with the German Design Award.
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