How a Longtime Dream Turned Into An Artisan Shoe Company

Wearwell's Co-Founder, Emily Kenney, chats with Helene Theros, Co-Founder + CMO of Laiik, a Made-in-Greece footwear brand focused on ethical and sustainable practices. Helene lives in London, but is originally from DC where Laiik is based. She shares the connection her Greek-American family has to Greek craftsmanship, sustainability tips, and her favorite summer sandals.

Emily: What motivated you to start Laiik?

Helene: Laiik had actually been a long time dream of mine and my siblings. Having grown up in a foreign-service family and living between DC and the Middle East, Greece was always our constant. We’d go there every summer and cart these amazing leather sandals back with us for friends and family, who adored them. We wanted to showcase this amazing Greek craftsmanship and really tell its story to the US market. Then in 2017, while on one of our annual trips to Greece, we felt inspired by Athens itself, which was bursting with renewed creativity post-economic crisis, and we thought: We can do this!

Laiik | Wearwell Sustainable, Ethical Clothing and Shoes

Emily: Love that it’s a family operation for you and your siblings! What sets Laiik shoes apart from other brands?

Helene: Quality, authenticity, and design. When we started Laiik, we wanted to create beautiful, high quality Greek sandals made in their birthplace, Athens, and using the most eco-conscious, beautiful, and durable materials we could find. All of our sandals and shoes are made in a small family-run atelier in Athens who share our ethos and purpose. We source all of our materials ourselves and never compromise on quality, ethical production and eco-conscious practices. And finally, all of our styles are timeless, ensuring you can love them from season to season.

Emily: Those are some of the aspects that I was most excited about. Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?

Helene: With each of our shoes and sandals, we wanted to reintroduce a timeless, classic style but give it a modern twist, something that’s fun and feels right for the city. 

The Ani | Wearwell Sustainable, Ethical Clothing and Shoes

The Ani, Greek Stone Grey + White

Emily: Absolutely! I love the modern color choices and details in each pair. What’s one piece of advice you would give someone who is just beginning to shop more sustainably?

Helene: It can be tough to shop sustainably, as every fast fashion brand from Shein to H&M, is claiming to be eco-friendly and ethical. It’s hard to weed out what is sincere and real from those that greenwash. To shop more sustainably, I would start with the basic principle of reducing what you buy. What I mean by that in the context of shopping sustainably is to start with buying fewer, better items - shoes or apparel that are built to last. I understand that price points can be high or at least higher with some sustainable brands. But I would try and break down the price in terms of use and numbers of wear. Also, find small brands. We at Laiik, for example, are able to price our footwear more accessibly than if we were selling through traditional large retailers. So rather than being in the $250-$450 range, all of our sandals are under $200 and all of our boots and shoes are under $300.

Emily: Great advice! I love how accessible the price is for Laiik’s high-quality shoes. In 3 words, how do you describe Laiik’s aesthetic?

Helene: Classic with subtle modern twists, feminine and unfussy. 

The Delphine | Wearwell Sustainable, Ethical Clothing and Shoes

The Delphine, Pollen + Greek Stone Grey

Emily: What are your three favorite Laiik styles?

Helene: This is another tough one, as I have so many favorites. I would say The Ani, which just so happens to be our bestseller. I love it for its geometry and the ease of wearing and pairing it with so many outfits.

Emily: So cute. My personal favorite is a tie between The Delphine and The Kiki – both are so gorgeous and versatile. What’s next for Laiik – anything else you want to share with wearwell’s community?

Helene: Just that I’m excited that this community exists and we’re so happy to be a part of it!

Emily: Likewise, we’re so happy Laiik is part of wearwell’s community of brand partners!

Shop Laiik at wearwell.

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