Heelz And Toez: The Sustainable, Customisable Children’s Shoe Brand (Made From Algae): Backed By Touker Suleyman On BBC’s Dragons Den

Shoe entrepreneur, Gaynor Marie, – managed to scoop up a £50,000 investment from Touker Suleyman on BBC’s Dragons Den, – for her revolutionary new footwear concept, after a tense pitch to the Dragons.

Whilst 4 of the Dragons quickly declared themselves ‘out,’ Touker saw something in the opportunity: his hunch was that Gaynor’s innovative technology could be used to create sustainable, customisable children’s shoes. And so, he put his money where his mouth is: £50,000 in exchange for 40% of the business. And that’s how Heels And Toez was born.

And what a perfect fit, when you consider Touker’s extensive (and unquestionable) background in the fashion industry, not to mention the insights, contacts and expertise that his addition to the shoe business will undoubtedly bring.

53-year-old entrepreneur, Gaynor, – has two brands in her portfolio: ‘It’s All About Shoes,’ which creates high-end footwear, and ‘Heels And Toez,’ which specialises in sustainable, customised shoes for children (made from algae-based plastic).

Gaynor’s sustainable shoe journey started out in 2014. Gaynor was learning how to make shoes by hand in Florence, and it was here that she realised just how destructive the fashion industry can be, and the damage it causes to our planet on a yearly basis.

A good example of this, is that when fashion trends change, perfectly good shoes are quite often thrown into landfill, along with brand new shoes that have simply been returned because they didn’t quite fit, or shoes with too many materials and parts to make it cost-effective enough to recycle. 

And to make matters worse, most shoes are created with ‘standard sizing,’ so a large majority of people are pushing their feet into ill-fitting shoes, and this can cause a wide range of issues, including rubbing and blisters. It was when Gaynor realised this, that the penny dropped, and she decided to do something about it. And she did.

Prior to getting into the shoe business, Gaynor previously ran a successful private beauty school, which taught permanent make up, and she worked as a distributor for bio sculpture gels, too.

‘I am extremely passionate about the environment, and whilst on a shoe making course in Florence, I learned just how many shoes go into landfill because of ill fitting, incorrect predictions in future fashion orders. Because shoes have 30-50 different components in them that are glued together, it’s almost impossible to recycle them. I wanted to find a solution,’ explained Gaynor.

Find out more here: https://heelzandtoez.com