KALDA shoes are defined by simple yet modern silhouettes with bold and unexpected details.
Founded in 2016 by Icelandic designer Kata Alda, KALDA was conceived with the aim of offering women a unique and well-made product at a reasonable price point as an antidote to the fast fashion madness that is hopefully on the decline.
While an experimental and unique design is core to the brand’s DNA, KALDA is also strongly underpinned by a sustainable and ethical fashion ethos. Every pair of KALDA shoes is produced by hand in a family-run, female-led factory in Portugal.
“I've always been obsessed with shoes.
For women, in particular, I think they are such an important part of how we express ourselves through what we wear. The shoes you put on in the morning completely set your mood for the day, more so than any other item”
We are committed to championing consciously made pieces for a sustainable future of fashion.
KALDA ensures that the materials, people and processes behind the brand are as eco-friendly and as dedicated to ethical trade as they can be.
Naturally, leather is the main material we use, so it’s the element we take most seriously. And while it can be complicated, we can say this: sustainability is foremost longevity. As such, it’s important to create durable products that don’t end up as waste.
Leather is considered a slow-fashion material because of its ability to withstand wear and tear, stay in our closets for much longer, and transcend trends. Leather shoes are investment pieces and when looked after properly, will see you through season after season.
At KALDA, we use only by-product cow leather from Italy or Portugal and fish skin from Iceland, sourced directly by our trusted network of people in both locations.
Each pair of KALDA shoes come in biodegradable carbon fiber boxes and paper wrapping. We offset a product’s carbon footprint by sending items straight from the factory to stores and keeping distances as short as possible.
Most importantly, we believe that if a brand’s sustainable operations aren’t inclusive of people, then they’re not truly sustainable. KALDA is proud to be part of creating a positive work experience and ethical environment for the craftspeople that make its shoes in a factory near Porto, Portugal, which has been in a family for three generations, and run by the granddaughter of the founder.
Our shoe factory shares our values of female empowerment, by not only having a woman in its prime leadership role, but the management of the factory is also all female-led too. Plus the business has a majority female workforce, which includes 30 shoemakers who work by hand, all with full-time contracts, many of whom have been there for over 20 years.
The brand name is an amalgamation of the first two names of its founder, Icelandic designer Katrín Alda Rafnsdottir, who goes by Kata.
Growing up in a town of only 300 inhabitants in the north of Iceland, Kata is intrinsically inspired by her rural upbringing, and always looks to natural elements and organic form during the creative process.
Kata honed her design skills and love of fashion while working in vintage stores from the age of 16, and has been a huge fan and collector of vintage items ever since. Naturally, her affinity for vintage fashion has been a prominent influence on the brand aesthetic.