If you've been to one of our five stores, you know that Res Ipsa has been making products using raffia for a several years. In our Marrakech atelier, we make raffia handbags and clutches. It was only a matter of time before we perfected our own raffia shoes. We are excited to announce that we are launching men's and women's raffia loafers!
Raffia is a dense fiber sourced from one of about twenty species of raffia palm tree that grow in Africa (one species grows in Central and South America). When harvested young, raffia can be woven into fabric with a polished, soft feel. The fibers are long and strong and may be used to make rope, baskets, textiles...and shoes.
Photo: Wikimedia commons
During World War II when leather was scarce and typically reserved for military purposes, raffia shoes became popular. Shoemakers expanded the possibilities of what could be done with raffia, and since then many European fashion houses have showcased raffia footwear.
We are drawn to raffia because it is a natural, sustainable material that fits into our philosophy of zero waste and repurposing. Our shoemakers have executed our vision of a simple, elegant loafer with a durable leather sole that is lightweight, comfortable, and perfect for summer.
Photo: raffia loafers rest on the shoe last.
Raffia is a quintessential summer shoe. For that reason, your raffia loafers need to stay as dry as possible and you should not clean it with water. If there is dust on your shoe, use a stiff bristle brush or a toothbrush to clean them without any product. If there is a stray row of raffia sticking out of the shoe you can cut it with a nail cutter.
Photo: Res Ipsa raffia loafers have a durable leather sole. These loafers are being boxed up and on their way to our warehouse.