Vans 2025 – EXPLORE is a business strategy for Vans footwear in 2025. The brief was to design shoes that were able to adapt to variable environmental conditions in the future. The three main concepts developed for the design exploration were: an environmentally-adaptive footwear design that offers multiple customisable options; local manufacturing alternatives to reduce shipping costs and carbon footprint; and a new in-store experience that integrates with local business opportunities. When designing the footwear, breathability of the shoes was a key factor in just about all weather conditions, so the designers looked for ways to increase the air flow into the footwear while incorporating Vans design language. The end product was a breathable structure that provides support to the upper layer, carefully designed to age well over time – something that Vans customers generally appreciated. Furthermore, having the shoes locally or site-specifically manufactured and shipped also help reduce the cost and decrease the environmental impact, while the ‘resell and repair’ store option expands the function of local Vans stores and extend the overall life span of Vans shoes. Vans footwear originally became popular when skateboarding was redefined by a group of kids known as the Z-Boys. They were the inspiration for this project as they exemplified the spirit of seeing things in a new perspective, noticing opportunities where others thought were lacking, and creating with the things that already exist around us.

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