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Designer wants your old shoes to upcycle into bespoke creations

Emily Jupp with some of her creations she makes from upcycling shoes at her shop and studio at Tombland. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Emily Jupp with some of her creations she makes from upcycling shoes at her shop and studio at Tombland. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A Norwich entrepreneur is inviting customers to bring in their old shoes to her city store to ‘utilise and upcycle’ into new creations.

Emily Jupp, aged 36, decided to launch the scheme in her shop Milly J Shoes in Tombland to help reduce its carbon footprint.

Miss Jupp designs bespoke shoes and shoe clips which she creates in consultation with the customer for special occasions including weddings, birthdays and proms.

In the past, she has bought shoes to design in her in-store studio but she is now encouraging customers to bring in their old footwear.

Miss Jupp said: “I started doing the handmade shoes and it has been going really well but I realised that people are becoming a lot more environmentally conscious.

One of Emily Jupp's creations, the Shakespeare shoes, upcycled shoes that she has embellished at her shop and studio at Tombland. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYOne of Emily Jupp's creations, the Shakespeare shoes, upcycled shoes that she has embellished at her shop and studio at Tombland. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“Most end up in landfill and they take 50 years to decompose and I thought it would be a good idea to utilise and upcycle them.

“From a bride who has an old battered pair of shoes who wants to keep them for sentimental reasons to a plain beige pair, the sky is the limit.”

Miss Jupp, who previously worked as an opera singer and actress, first launched the business in 2011 but after it proved difficult to offer a bespoke service online she opened her first store All About Shoes in St Benedict’s Street in 2016.

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In September 2018 she relocated to 12 Tombland as she realised there was ‘much better footfall in the area’ and needed a larger premises.

Emily Jupp, holding her Dark Alice shoes, one of her creations she makes from upcycling shoes at her shop and studio at Tombland. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYEmily Jupp, holding her Dark Alice shoes, one of her creations she makes from upcycling shoes at her shop and studio at Tombland. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Whilst the high street is facing widespread closures, Miss Jupp thinks her store is bucking the trend due to the personal service offered.

She added: “Each shoe is individual to people’s characteristics and it is about creating an experience where people can touch the shoes and live the item.”

Miss Jupp, whose shoes have celebrity fans including Emma Willis and Kylie Minogue, also featured in the 2018 series of The Apprentice as an expert on the shoe design episode.

She has also won a number of awards including the EDP and Archant Wedding Innovation Award in 2018 and in 2015 she was named the Footwear Designer of the Year at the Footwear Industry Awards.

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