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The story of espadrilles

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

Simple espadrilles.

These brilliantly versatile plant based shoes have been around for at least 4000 years. There is a pair of espadrilles in the museum of Granda that date back to 2000BC. Originally from the Basque and Provençal regions of Southern France and Catalonia in Spain they are as stylish today as ever.

Espardenyes; Espadrilles; Alpargatas

The term espadrille comes from the Catalan word ‘espardenya’, which derives from the esparto grass plant which was historically used for the soles. which grew wild in abundance in the area. Whereas Alpargatas is the Castilian Spanish name and Espadrilles its' french counterpart.

These days the soles are more often made from Jute, a fast growing 'Bast' fibre which requires little water or artificial fertilisers making it a more sustainable choice; it also naturally biodegrades and so kinder to the planet.

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