Hi – I’m Martin, founder of New Movements. I’ve always had a huge fascination with shoes because my grandfather was a shoemaker in Norway, as was his father before him. I also have a deep love for our planet and a passion to preserve it. But it took me a near-death experience to figure out where I would go with all of this.
Meningococcal meningitis ravaged my body when I was 19. When I was in the hospital I didn’t even know if I would survive. (Spoiler alert: I did!) Four months laid up in bed gave me a lot of time to reflect on my life, the world and what I needed to contribute. I realized there was no time to waste.
I moved to the U.S. to study at the Academy of Art University. While there, I pitched an idea to develop a bag collection made out of old durable military tents. This resulted in thousands of people cruising the streets of San Francisco with old waste that was upcycled to create something beautiful and useful for everyone! That made me wonder… if I could design a bag this way, couldn’t I make shoes that are good for people and the planet?
That’s the moment I realized my ultimate design goal was to be circular: That is, to create products that could become something new when its lifetime was over.
As I traveled around the world to Europe, South Asia, and Latin America to learn the craft, I met many fascinating people, from small family suppliers to manufacturers, who all wanted to contribute to a future where business lives in harmony with the planet. It was a movement that had to begin with intentional, eco-conscious design that challenged all norms and convention.
I committed to that. And in the summer of 2017, New Movements was born.