Zyne is a handmade, trendy footwear brand from Morocco created to bring the traditional Moroccan “babouche” into the 21st Century. The company’s innovations of creating a Moroccan, ready to wear, stylish mule have been featured in L’Officiel Paris, Vogue, Harper Bazaar Arabia, and Oprah. Zyne has reinvented the idea of Moroccan babouche slippers by designing each shoe to embody a fancier footwear concept. They offer styles that range from dress up as an Haute hostess or attending a cinderella ball. Zyne’s cleverly designed mules are also perfect for trendy beachgoers and dressing up a pair of jeans. The brand was started by Casablanca based Moroccan designer Zineb Britel, who is on a mission to make a difference. The company aims to practice zero waste by creating shoes that last, use natural materials when possible, and attempting to regulate material usage on a need only basis.
Zyne’s newest high heel collection is inspired by the city of Casablanca. The urban jungle hosts cultural and business events around the clock. The kitten heel line remains true to their Moroccan craftsmanship mission however adds a fancier touch. Silk satin, snakeskin printed leather, and plush velvet are new textures found in their footwear line.
“Our shoes are handwoven by skilled artisans using a very detailed and methodical process. Each shoe can take two or more people half a day or longer to complete. We only work with small atelier’s and suppliers to ensure that we are contributing to the local economy.”
Zyne’s signature shoes are those made with Moroccan Raffia. An example of the shoemaking process can be demonstrated with Meghan Markle’s favorite shoe, the Bondi. From start to finish, the Bondi takes an artisan approximately 22 hours to make. The process includes several artisans, one to design the piece, one to make the inner sole, another for the outer, and a few more who will weave it. The use of raffia, a sustainable and natural material, is one of the key elements that enable Zyne’s footwear to last longer. Writer and consultant of sustainable packaging, pallets, and the supply chain Rick LeBlanc states that “if the average life of clothing was extended by just three months, it would reduce their carbon and water footprints, as well as waste generation, by five to 10 percent.”
The raffia used in their textured shoes is harvested from raffia palm leaves. Then they are dyed and packaged by local hands. Zyne employees also use dead-stock leather derived from luxury factories to reduce waste. This results in less production waste in Morocco and less water and electricity consumption. The company also works hard to preserve Moroccan culture and reduce unemployment.
“Our responsibility to the Moroccan environment is something we don’t take lightly. In every process of our production, we take into consideration how it will make lasting effects on our community down the road. We have substituted plastic bags with non-woven, reusable, fabric bags and also use biodegradable paper bags. Our mission to work with artisans on ancestral techniques that were going to disappear preserves the culture while also helping to create a better environment.”
Zyne was inspired when owner Zineb discovered her passion for Moroccan mules after leaving her Parisian work stomping grounds. She went to work for the fashion brands Central Saint Martins in London and Moda Pelle in Italy. Prior to studying Fashion Design at Esmod she worked at Christon Dior and Sonia Rykiel. Once Britel understood that she wanted to launch a Moroccan mule inspired shoe company, she enlisted the help of her best friend Laura Pujol. Her educational background from INSEEC, one of France’s top advertising schools and L’Ecole Internationale de Marketing du Luxe, has helped them brand Zyne in an elegant way.