Galahad Clark

Galahad Clark is a seventh-generation cobbler. His ancestors founded Clarks shoes, and he is now the driving force behind Vivobarefoot, which makes shoes that allow the wearer to enjoy the same range of movement and sensation as if walking barefoot.

Galahad is on a mission to battle the industry’s super brands through sustainable innovations like shoes made from algae, 3D-printed bespoke shoes made for feet and recommerce models like ReVivo. Vivobarefoot puts health and sustainability at the heart of its strategy. “My forefathers created the original social enterprises,” he says. “I want to be part of the blueprint for business as a force for good in the 21st century."

Describe the nature around you at the moment.

Having recently moved back home to Somerset, my ancestral homeland, I’m surrounded by some truly wondrous places. Originally the ‘Okavanga Delta’ of Europe, I feel lucky to have Glastonbury tor on my doorstep, a site on which multiple ley lines converge. Unfortunately, these wetlands have been largely drained. However, the local community is coming together and we’re excited to be part of a number of projects including Somerset Wildlands to try to bring these wetland ‘levels’ back to life.

Where do you feel most at ease?

I feel most at ease when I stay in Bantham village, an estuary in South Devon, where I’ve been going since birth. Floating down the river here gives me a sense of calm and is where everything seems to make the most sense - it’s the purest form of blue health there is, being fully immersed in water.

How can our feet help us reconnect to nature?

Our feet are sensory organs. With thousands of nerve endings (like our hands), they are literally designed to feel the earth and the world around us. Whilst it’s not always possible to walk barefoot everywhere we go, it was the ambition to get more people to truly start feeling the ground again that led to the start of Vivobarefoot. Aside from reconnecting with nature, walking barefoot actually strengthens your feet and improves balance, something modern style shoes don’t, so Vivobarefoot is on a mission to tackle this feet first.

What lessons have you learned about nature through founding Vivobarefoot?

The list is neverending. Through Vivo, I've come to learn about nature initially on a sensory level, but on my journey have also had the opportunity to hear from so many deep and wise teachers who have helped me connect back to source. Some of the key lessons that have really resonated with me have been about evolutionary biology, human natural locomotion (kinetics and kinematics), and of course regenerative leadership and the nature of leadership.

We’ve spent the last few years ensconced in a retreat called Springwood with Giles Hutchins, who has been a truly inspiring teacher and guide. Through his guidance, we’ve transformed Vivo and the organisation from a mechanistic one to an ecosystem based on natural principles. Whilst it’s not always the most efficient, the complexity is profound, important and ultimately resilient.

Name a TV series, film or documentary that blew your mind.

Ancient Apocalypse by Graham Hancock. He travels all over the world to discover lost civilizations. I find it fascinating to see how people used to live and thrive in communities dating back to the Ice Age, and it’s inspired many of my own travels across the world to not only visit but learn from the surviving ancestors of these remarkable people.

Which rituals do you practice to keep you grounded and connected to the outer world?

As the name suggests, I’m an enormous advocate for truly feeling the ground beneath your feet, so a daily ritual for me is taking my shoes and socks off, standing up and simply breathing. Dedicating time to connect with nature is incredibly important to me, and I try to combine both green and blue health as much as possible. Green health involves getting out into nature and the green spaces around you, and blue health is focused on the bodies of water surrounding us, whether that’s a lake, river or ocean.

What kind of ancestor would you like to be?

I’d like to be remembered as someone who was dedicated to building a business that improved the human-to-nature connection. I’d also like to be the ancestor who brought together the community, through friends and family, and reconnected everyone to the “natural source”. Community, family minded - connected to source.

What question would you like to ask to the next person on #TNK ?

What does regenerative leadership mean to you?

And could you suggest someone else or other organisations you admire that we could approach for #TheNatureKind

Sir Tim Smit KBE, who helped jointly create the Lost Gardens of Heligan in St Austell and the Eden Project in Cornwall. Dr Zach Bush MD, who is an internationally recognised educator on the microbiome as it relates to human health, soil health, food systems, and a regenerative future. Oona Chaplin, actress and activist who is a campaigner and advocate highlighting a number of social and environmental issues.

You can find out more about Vivobarefoot here. And you find out more about Galahad on Instagram here.

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