Northampton man trades his career in IT to build 'world’s first vegan, carbon-negative footwear brand' to create a brighter future for his children

‘How do I wake up every day and not care about what their future looks like?’

Friday, 10th June 2022, 10:27 am

Northampton man, Sam Carew, 43 and his wife were expecting their fourth child when he says he learned that a baby born into the developed world leaves a 58.6 metric tonne carbon footprint annually.

Scared for what the world may look like for his children as they grow up, he turned his attention from a long career in IT to running the ‘world’s first vegan, carbon-negative footwear brand’ to put a dent in the climate crisis.

Sam had been working in IT for 22 years and felt as if he’d achieved all he could in his industry. After working within the engineering, consulting, publishing and education sectors he began to feel as if he was stagnating.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Sam Carew and family

“I’d got to a place where I was managing a team but I wasn’t able to have the level of impact that I’d like to within an organisation. Starting something of my own had been bubbling in my head for a good 10 years but I didn’t know what it was going to look like. If you’re headhunted it’s only ever to do the same thing in a different place. No one gives you the opportunity to do something completely different, you have to make that for yourself,” he said.

After finding out the significant impact left on the environment by having children, Sam’s desire to carve his own path led to the formation of a fledgling fashion startup.

Elliott Footwear - which claims to be the world’s first climate positive vegan sneaker brand - removes one tonne of carbon from the atmosphere every time a pair of their trainers are bought, and has already offset 620 tonnes of CO2 since September 2018.

Sam added: “I have a large family. How do I wake up every day and not care about what their future looks like? I’ve created an opportunity to make it look at least a little better. Adidas has a desire to be carbon neutral by 2035. We’ve partnered with green companies that are passionate about helping the environment so that we can create sustainable footwear and work with them to make sure carbon offset is carried out in a credible way today.”