Tarkine is a new, first of its kind, Australian owned running shoe company that’s reimagining how shoes can be made and disposed of.


Using a mix of recycled and biodegradable materials, Tarkine are set to make running shoes that not only perform at the highest level, but also save the planet in the process.


The inspiration behind the name — Tarkine, Tasmania. Photo by Tim Cooper

In the style of Patagonia, the brand was named after the majestic Tarkine Rainforest in an effort to bring awareness to one of the last wild places on Earth and the threats facing it.

‘If I’m going to start a shoe brand, what better name is there?’ Said co-founder Sam Burke, during a conference call involving friends of the Tarkine, environmental non-profits and Australian runners.

‘We’re trying to achieve something more than just having a brand,’ said Sam.

‘Every aspect of our shoe has an environmental consideration put into it.’

Indeed, Tarkine are taking responsibility for the full life cycle of a shoe. Not only are they re-imaging the manufacture. They’re also re-considering what happens to a shoe after it’s done its dash.


A Recycled And Biodegradable Running Shoe By New Aussie Brand Tarkine

More goes into these shoes than your feet

The founders began tinkering with shoes way back in 2009 and started seriously developing what you see today in 2017.

Their first all-round running shoe which is live on Kickstarter now — with expectations they could be on donor’s feet by Christmas — doesn’t sacrifice on performance to get the sustainable result.

You’re not doing anyone any favours by recycling a shoe if it can only last a few hundred kilometres or less. So, Tarkine’s shoes are said to last well over 1,000km before needing to be retired and in their case, recycled.

Co-founders Sam Burke and Ross Johnson eventually want to make a shoe that is 100% made of recycled materials — A recycled midsole proves to be a sticking point at the moment.

Currently, the shoe boasts a recycled one-piece upper, which is durable and made using recycled plastics.

The laces are also made of recycled material, there’s organic cotton in the inner liner and the inner sole of the shoe biodegrades in about 3 months according to Sam if you chop it up and toss it into an active compost bin.

The rubber outsole is also made of pre-consumer scrap rubber from various unwanted off-cuts which are saved from the waste pile.


A Recycled And Biodegradable Running Shoe By New Aussie Brand Tarkine

Elite Runners Ben Chamberlain and Emma Philippe doing some Tarkine product testing.

Tarkine will even recycle the shoe for you

Not only is the production process environmentally minded, Tarkine also invites you to return the shoes after they’ve been worn out and they’ll recycle them for you. Better still, you’ll also get a discount on your next pair of shoes.

‘Because we’re tiny and we’ve never actually sold a pair of shoes, we can decide to do this.’ Said Sam.

‘Paying $25 per shoe to recycle isn’t possible with the big conglomerates and their margins. But, because we’re tiny, we can grow with this model.’

As if all of this wasn’t enough, they are also redirecting profits to support the Bob Brown Foundation.

When can we get some?

Clearly not just a run of the mill running shoe, we’re excited to see how Tarkine go in reaching their goals and hope to take a pair for a spin ourselves soon!

Following the launch of this all-round runner, Tarkine are also currently in the process of designing and producing a trail specific shoe, which they hope to one day use at the Takayna Trail Ultra, where the brand was conceived, and complete the circle.

Check out Tarkine’s website.

You can back Tarkine’s Kickstarter campaign HERE.


Tarkine, Tasmania, Patagonia, takayna

Deep in the Tarkine, Tasmania. Pic: @patagoniaaus