Our Story

ABOUT US

Gaia Soul Designs was born in Byron Bay in 2014 by our director and designer, Natalia Sanchez.

We are a sustainable footwear brand, creating unique designs that combine both style and comfort. Since the beginning, Natalia has been designing beautiful leather sandals with a bohemian and contemporary vibe. Her creative designs are made with the finest natural leather, ergonomic soles and beautiful earth tone colors.

Gaia Soul Designs was created on four strong foundations: sustainability, fair trade, hand made and high-end quality. Natalia built something unique and authentic where the Spanish classics from her homeland were used as patterns while incorporating the latest European trends. Gaia Soul Designs is based in Byron Bay while our designs are handcrafted in Spain by true artisans.

Gaia Soul Leather Sandals Byron Bay

1. Sustainability

Materials

All leather used for Gaia Soul sandals is made from cow leather, and is tanned and produced in Spain. Leather itself is a sustainable material, in that it uses a byproduct from another industry (meat), so it doesn’t require additional land and resources.

A common issue with the sustainability side of leather is the chemical treatment and dying of the leather which is both toxic and produces toxic waste. The leather we use at Gaia Soul is tanned with natural pigments and is free of chromium. All our leather passes the strict inspections and regulation from the European Community.

Leather is produced from an organic material, it has a greater capacity to biodegrade at the end of product life than synthetic materials.

Packaging

Our sandals come to you in recyclable cardboard shoe boxes. For shipment, we use 100% compostable satchels from "Better Packing". These can be composted in your home compost! Our bags are bio-based ie. partly made from plants and biodegradable with no toxic residues (or micro-plastics!)

2. Fair Trade

We work with a very reliable and traditional manufacturer in the south Spain. All workers have fair payments and wages. The cost of production is high however our aim is not to reduce the cost of production and ultimately put workers at risk, we are building a business based on strong partnerships and a quality product.

3. Handmade

Every pair of sandals is handcrafted by a professional cobbler. Natalia has chosen to work with our supplier because these are people that have been doing this profession for generations. It is not only a job, it is part of their culture and patrimony.

4. High Quality

The quality of Gaia Soul Design is a direct result of the handmade nature of the product. Traditional sandal-making techniques used by true craftsmen to perfect each individual pair of shoes. We design our shoes to last, they are sandals that will take you across the world, exploring in far away places for years.

Our design emphasis is on improving each sandal design. We don't release a lot of different styles every year, our focus is on refining and perfecting our product. We want to create a unique product, that only gets better with the years.

ABOUT THE DESIGNER:

Native from Spain, Natalia grew up around the best quality leather shoes in a handmade workshop atmosphere. She studied and worked in art and design in Madrid, Paris, Morocco, New York and Australia. Natalia loves the creativity and techniques of the Spanish leather industry. She works with a small workshop in the south of Spain with the aim of empower her home country and preserve these unique traditions.

“I do my designs thinking about people’s needs. My priorities are comfort and quality. My designs are inspired by nature, time spent with beautiful people and old mediterranean cultures. My work is very earthy, bohemian and contemporary. I like to celebrate life, keep the old Spanish shoemaking traditions and support slow fashion and fair trade. Byron Bay and Spain inspired me to create the best” x Nat.