The Alternative British Brogue

A project by: Emily Harrison


WE RAISED £1,933

from 53 donors

This project received pledges on Mon 01 Apr 2013
Re-designing the British Brogue with a sustainable approach to materials and process.

My name is Emily Harrison. I am a 4th year student studying BA(Hons) Product Design at Edinburgh University.

This is my final 4th year degree project at Edinburgh University. I am seeking sponsorship to help fund my material, manufacture, printing, and exhibition space rental costs for my footwear collection at the degree show, and the renowned New Designers Exhibition in London in July 2013.

The problem of "fast-fashion"

"65% of the worlds production of leather is estimated to go into leather footwear and approximately 90% of the leather manufactured is tanned using chromium. The leather industry has commonly been associated with high pollution and high water consumption caused during the tanning process." - International Council of Tanners

Our planet's population is ever increasing, causing an enormous amount of pressure on the environment. Fashion is dependent on the environment, and resources such as water, crops, and animals. Our planets raw materials are rapidly decreasing at a frightening rate. We are using up our water reserves to furnish ourselves with "fast-fashion".

As designers/consumers we collectively need to realise the implications of throw-away culture and fast-fashion on the environment. Footwear is a good place to start. Worldwide footwear consumption has doubled every 20 years, from 2.5 billion pairs of shoes in 1950 to more than 20 billion pairs in 2005.

The Project: The Alternative British Brogue

The Brogue Industry prevails. The Great British Brogue has been around for centuries and will continue to be around for many more. This project investigates throw-away culture. Exploring environmental issues associated with fast-fashion and trends.

The purpose of this project is to re-design the legendary Brogue with a sustainable approach to materials and production. Specifically exploring the leather tanning process. The Alternative British Brogue takes the traditional Brogue dress shoe and uses an alternative sustainable material solution, creating an eco-conscious, fashionable, and honest range of footwear.

Re-considerations of the materials/processing and new designs will in no way detract from the high quality, craftsmanship, and authentic traditions associated with the Brogue, but offer new sustainable alternatives/route to this heritage.

Image of the current prototype:

Why the Brogue?

The Brogue is a quintessentially British and very popular shoe. It is a classic and versatile shoe that can work with almost any outfit for both men and women. The Great British Brogue has been around for centuries and will continue to be around for many more.

If you invest in a handful of sensible (and stylish) pairs and take care of them, you’ll be set for years.

The Brogue prevails through time because it is an iconic, comfortable, hard wearing shoe that can come in an assortment of styles and colours, suitable for any occasion.

Traditionally, Brogues are made of leather and in that there is an opportunity in the leather footwear industry that needs to be addressed!

My Aim

My aim for my final 4th year collection is to get 3-6 pairs of Brogues manufactured to the highest standard, in a variety of colours, with the goal that they will be modelled at the Edinburgh Fashion show.

The Future

Your funding will help kick-start the foundations of my own sustainable footwear company.


I’m offering a number of rewards for each donation, including the chance to have your company name advertised at the New Designers Exhibition in London, a pair of the Brogues themselves, as well as free entrance tickets and invitations to the exhibition and Edinburgh Degree show.


If you have any questions please feel free to click the button below!

Every donation no matter how small will help towards funding my degree project and exhibition.


(Sponsorcraft uses an all-or-nothing model. If I don't reach my funding target by the completion date no money changes hands!)