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Gallery: Simple Shoes to Shutter by Ye...

Simples Shoes, Deckers, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, eco-friendly shoes, sustainable shoes, eco-friendly sneakers, sustainable sneakers

The future of Simple Shoes is about to get a whole lot more complicated. Deckers, its parent company, announced plans on Tuesday to cease distribution of the eco-friendly shoe brand, effective Dec. 31, according to WWD. Deckers will shift its focus instead to Sanuk, a casual footwear brand it acquired last month for $120 million. “Given that there is some degree of overlap between Simple and Sanuk consumers, and Sanuk’s positive outlook and global appeal, we make this difficult decision knowing it is in the best interests of the brands, the company and its shareholders,” Angel Martinez, Deckers’ CEO and president, said in a statement.

Simples Shoes, Deckers, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, eco-friendly shoes, sustainable shoes, eco-friendly sneakers, sustainable sneakers

SHAKY GROUND

After 20 years of business, Simple took an abrupt turn after Teva and Simple president Pete Worley took over in January 2010. Simple, Worley told WWD in November, had lost its identity. “The original roots of the brand—and the reason it’s called Simple Shoes—was that it was all about the simple life, of which environmental consciousness was a very important element,” he said. “But over the years, that eco story took over and became the entire platform, and it even took on a bit of a preachy tone, if you will.”

After he took over in 2010, Worley implemented a new agenda for the brand: keep the green elements, but ditch the eco-only association.

Consumers found the brand message “too serious,” according to Worley, who implemented a new agenda for the brand: keep the green elements, but ditch the eco-only association. “We believe that has held Simple back and caused it to be less approachable than it should be,” he said. “[Simple’s] high-water mark, sometime in the late 1990s, was just north of $30 million. Since then the brand has lived in the $15-to-$25 million range in global sales. That’s barely scratching the surface, so there’s huge potential out there.”

Requests for comment were not immediately returned.

Update: Deckers is currently evaluating their options for the Simple brand, according to spokeswoman Errin Cecil-Smith, but the Dec. 31 cutoff will still hold.

+ Simple Shoes

20 Responses to “Simple Shoes to Shutter by Year’s End?”

  1. mlonergan says:

    Sorry to hear about the Simple brand. I love the sneakers. They’re a bit funky and cute. Comfy too. Plus they carried my size (12 womens) and that’s a hard size to find in cute shoes.

  2. Blake See Double You (@blakeisinthis) says:

    This is bullcrap. I like simple AND sanuk, but sanuk isn’t as eco-friendly as simple. Fooey. Sanuk does have a “Rasta” shoe line, which I own the slipper and the sandal. Whatever. I have no control over it anyway. Bluh.

  3. jamsolid says:

    Yeah, it is a shame. There are few clothing lines that more honestly push the environmental issues we should all be more conscious of as we exercise our consumerism. It is my personal passion, and I thought Simple was unique for this. Since learning about them only a year ago I have bought 4 pairs of their shoes, locally, only to find in store supplies dwindling. That’s what has brought me online actually. To search for Simples!

  4. Abi-D says:

    I am so upset about this. I was really proud to own shoes made from recycled car tyres, that were so cute and comfortable. My pair are now worn out and I was looking to replace them, only to discover that there are none to be had anywhere.
    I’m disgusted and saddened that they would stop making an environmentally friendly brand of shoe because it seems ‘too preachy’! Governments are struggling to make people aware of the environmental crises we’re facing, and encourage us to buy recycled products, but this company decided it’s not so profitable to be responsible, so screw the environment.
    From what I’ve seen of the Sanuk range, the overlap they talk about does not apply to the type of shoe I loved. They are apparently just discontinued.
    Thanks Worley.

  5. jimmy k says:

    In the words of Dr. House, “you idiots.” Can’t believe you’re discontinuing Simple sneaks. I love them. My friends love them. Bad business decision, guys. Bad business.

  6. michael d says:

    Sad excuse by a company to discontinue a shoe because there was too much dialogue about the enviroment ! The shoes were great and they are the majority of my wifes shoes… I hope the company realizes sanuk does not cross over. Really disappointed… Does anyone know of a brand that comes close in design ?

  7. sharronsuss says:

    My big toe finally wore through the top of my 20-yr-old Simple brown clogs so I bought a second pair a month or so ago from Amazon. Turns out I may have gotten the last pair. Trying to get a pair for my DIL, I have only located a size-15 and size-14 men’s on Amazon & Ebay. She has big feet but not THAT big!

    Guess I got lucky. Twice!

  8. amberlady says:

    I hate to have to resort to hunting all over the world to find the shoes that fit me so well, are environmentally friendly and other people have raved about every time that I wear either the sandals or the sneakers. Why is it that only the good, reliable and long wearing things go out—-

  9. oochalian says:

    Aww… Sad story. I want Simple Shoes badly but I can’t afford it before. Now that I have dough to buy it, it’s gone XD

  10. gamarilys says:

    sanuk does not cross over!! they are horrible, I want simple back!!

  11. sneakers says:

    Please listen to your customers and keep making these shoes. I have found nothing that compares to them and always get compliments when I wear them. I love sneakers and these are sooo
    comfortable. Please, please, please reconsider this decision!!

  12. lisalu22 says:

    Please bring Simple Green Toe flip flops back!!! I can’t live without them! I don’t think Rainbow makes hemp flip flops anymore. Sanuk is okay, but not the same as Simple. Please come back Simple!

  13. diannemit says:

    Please!!!bring back Simple brand sneakers. They are so great. My last pair is in their last days.

  14. cindys says:

    It’s sad news to know that I won’t be able to replace my worn out Simple “Old School” pairs. I’ve worn and cared for these 2 pair for years while trying to find replacements. Now I see that it not going to happen. Comfort, style and durability … hard to find. Now I buy top of the line boarding shoes, Nikes, and they’re okay.

  15. peru28 says:

    thats a bad news,Simple was my favorite sneakers and i was proud to walk in front of many users of vans,johnfoos,converse,etc and looking to my SIMPLE to ask me where did i get those :) so i have to repair the ones i have to use with more proud now,i bought 4 pairs on 2001 and YES those are still ON,SIMPLE FOREVER!!

  16. nikki232 says:

    please keep the simple brand. i am an extremely picky person and these are the only shoes i have liked in years and cant find any shoes like them that i enjoy as much. please keep them.

  17. slmelchor says:

    What crap. I love the fact that the brand had integrity for the eco-conscience. Boo to you Worley :@

  18. daniel james says:

    Really sad to just see this!

    I went to an event at their showroom years ago, where I heard they were offering free drinks and a pair of free kicks.
    The kicks i got were grey, and looked like a “Simple” version of converse. Being that I owned quite a few pairs of converse, I figured I’d just wear the real things, and put the pair in my closet.
    Fast forward a few years, I had to move and found the pair.
    I put them on to run out & grab something to eat, and felt like i was floating.

    These sneakers were super comfortable, and I felt no back pain when I walked.
    I continued to wear them for the past few weeks.

    So many compliments have come my way.
    I’ve beaten the heck outta these things, and realized how well made they are.

    So this morning I wanted to find where i can get more, only to find this sad article.

    My first reaction was that they were a converse wanna be, & yes at the showroom party, heard the whole recycled thing, which was like yeah-ok, these will never catch on.

    I was “simply” wrong!

    I relate with everyone’s sadness, that these wonderful shoes are no longer, I’d be a buyer for life.

    SIGH!

    -DJ

  19. allieboop7 says:

    A sad, sad farewell to the shoe company of a millenia. Bought my 1st pair from a sports shop in downtown Flagstaff, AZ in 1995…just after they started making them. Have owned multiple pairs over the years, down to just 3. Sneakers are on their last legs. Sanuk is crap, will never buy. Came on here today hoping against hope that Simple came back. Wish the original Santa Barbara team would just start it up on their own again. Going to try pf flyers next but no they’ll never compare. So long simple shoes.

  20. jessiej says:

    About 3 years ago in Southwold I bought the purple suede ones with green lace. They’re so comfy and get loads of admiring comments. Looked on here to see if I could buy some online only to find this sad article. What a pity. I would have loved some more.

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