Happiness is in the vines

Des matériaux éco-responsable pour nos baskets : Une réutilisation du végétal en alternative au cuir !

Since our beginnings

At the basis of the COG project , our desire to become actors in more ethical and responsible fashion by offering vegan and eco-responsible shoes and sneakers. Since our launch in 2020, our range of ethical shoes has consisted of 100% cruelty-free shoes , without any animal materials, made with respect for nature and humans , free of products that could harm living things.

Since the end of 2022, we have been using a brand new material made up of 80% grape marc and recycled plastic, produced in Italy, in the making ofour Topsy vegan sneakers . A solution of plant origin, perfectly in line with our aspiration to disseminate ecological, local and virtuous fashion.

Through this article, we tell you a little more about this eco-responsible alternative, and the values ​​supported by our brand.

Our idea of ​​eco-design

Preserving life, favoring recycled materials, ensuring that artisans work in good conditions, that's our definition of ethical fashion, and our concept of luxury.

Our creative process is based both on reducing our environmental footprint and on considering the health, social and economic implications of the shoes we produce. To do this, we use innovative alternatives, in order to offer a solution that respects the planet and individuals .

Learn more about COG values

A material made from grapes: one more step in eco design

Grape faux leather is a synthetic material that imitates natural leather (animal skin). Today used for making shoes -like our Topsy model , our Aïko and Laïka women's city shoes, or our Wallace black grape high-top sneaker - this material produced from grape waste is also used to produce articles in the leather goods sector.

This eco-friendly alternative is made from a blend of grape marc (dry residue collected after the harvest), vegetable oils, polyester and water-based polyurethane.

Innovative solution produced by a company based in Italy in the northern region of Milan, this material limits waste and gives a second life to grape marc (the skin, seeds and remaining stems are crushed after the pressing process juices), because this material, when not transformed for use in the cosmetics sector, is generally thrown away.

The second advantage of opting for this solution: in addition to being produced less than 500 kilometers from our premises , it perfectly meets our desire to preserve animal life, since it requires neither breeding nor slaughter.

Finally, thanks to the use of recycled polyester mixed with a water-based PU, this material is extremely durable and manages to perfectly capture the aesthetic characteristics (texture), flexibility and resistance of animal leather.


Launched on the market in 2020, this new alternative to animal leather, imitation leather made from grape waste, is currently only produced by one Italian company.

A major wine-growing region, it is there that the fruit is harvested, harvested, then the recovered pomace is transformed to become this innovative material.

Although there are other alternatives such as imitation leather made from vegetable bases, such as imitation leather made from pineapple (pinatex), cactus, mango, mushrooms or apple, our team has done the choice to turn to this grape-based solution because, in our opinion, it is the option that best meets our aesthetic and ethical expectations: regional fruit and local processing, sustainable and responsible solution.

The steps for transforming grape marc into imitation leather!

  1. The grapes are harvested then pressed.
  2. The grape marc, which is the residue (skin + seeds + stems) that remains after the grapes are pressed to extract the juice, is collected and then dried.
  3. The waste is crushed and sifted.
  4. The material is then mixed with vegetable oils, recycled polyester and water-based polyurethane, to form a paste.
  5. This paste is then spread on a support to form a sheet, then dried, textured and tinted.
  6. Next comes the step of cutting the material whose parts will be used to make our shoes.


Topsy, our little revolution

At the end of 2022, after more than a year of research and development, COG is launching its very first sneaker to use an upper made of this plant-based material: theTopsy vegan sneaker.

With this new vegan sneaker, our team goes further in its desire to be part of an ecological approach, since in addition to not using any animal materials, and being equipped with a grape upper , the interior lining and the laces of this casual sneaker are made from recycled plastic bottles , and its insole is also made from recycled cork .

On the design side, we focused on sober lines, and impactful geometry, thanks to clean lines, and our clearly identifiable bird's foot logo, which sets the tone by combining with our different colors.

The sneaker is available in black , white , beige , red , cobalt blue , black & white , including the timeless blue, white, red , for the “French touch” side.

Comfortable and durable, we have ensured that our ecological sneaker becomes your best ally on a path to protecting the planet.

Who is behind the name of our Topsy plant-based sneaker? ?

Our vegan sneaker is not only eco-responsible, but also a tribute to animal life.

You know our commitment to animal welfare. Well, it’s in memory of one of them, who didn’t have the chance to be properly considered, that we named oursneaker Topsy .

Elephant born in 1867, Topsy has only known life in a circus. Exploited and mistreated by her trainer, her end of life was as tragic as her existence.

In 1903, after having suffered yet another abuse, Topsy was sentenced to be electrocuted for having turned against her trainer and having taken his life while defending herself.

This is why our team wanted to pay tribute to the elephant Topsy, so that her story is not forgotten, and that her name resonates with each of our steps for a more sensitive and moral reality.

Our goal is to make our Topsy the new emblem in terms of ethical sneakers for committed fashion, and a shoe that not only preserves nature, but also advocates the cause of life.

Dressed models

As for city shoes, the black versions of our Aïko women’s Oxford shoes and our Chelsea also for women , Laïka are also made of grape marc, and will charm you with their feminine and elegant lines.


Over the years, more and more ethical and eco-responsible alternatives are emerging, offering us the possibility of creating models more in line with our values, as well as our expectations in terms of respect for the environment.

Since February 2023, another of our star models has been available in a new plant-based version: our unisex high-top sneaker, the Wallace black grape ! This new version of our high-top sneaker is the perfect compromise between style, comfort and ecology.

Producing in Europe and in small quantities , shoes designed with respect , from recycled materials , is our way of leaving a clean footprint on the planet.

Incorporating plants to gradually try to replace plastic fiber is the challenge we want to take on. The road to 100% plant-based shoes is long, but we are already very happy to present to you our new models of vegan, designer and ecological shoes.

Do not hesitate to share your opinions, ideas and impressions with us.