Carolina Marques

Swap your step, Revive your stride.

What is TROCA ?

Troca is a Portuguese verb that translates to swap in English

A women’s summer collection of ergonomic and sustainable platforms made from both natural materials and discarded waste. This footwear encourages the user to showcase their identity and style preferences by giving the option to swap between a variety of soles and tops. Providing this palette of tops and bottoms, allows the user to customize to their liking, while also acknowledging the footwear industry’s excessive waste.

This collection comes with three different strap lengths and two sole heights.

Why I created TROCA

Footwear is a significant staple within the fashion industry, as it is a necessary product of everyday use. It allows for self-expression, while also serving the functional purpose of comfort and protection. Due to its popularity, people are now consuming these products at a very high rate, leading to unethical working conditions and mass pollution. During a shoe’s life cycle, various toxins, chemicals, and fossil fuels are generated, which are released into the atmosphere. These chemicals damage the local flora and fauna, causing many health issues in turn. The majority of these effects are due to the frequent disposal of footwear, as most are now composed of unsustainable materials and poor quality. The Footwear industry is not like how it was once before, as the craftsmanship and quality of materials have been replaced with destructive mass production.


The handcrafted soles consist of four layers, which are composed of discarded wine corks, natural adhesive, wood offcuts, vegetable-tanned leather, and natural rubber. The straps are constructed from all-natural linen fabric and cotton rope. Providing the user with a complimenting neutral palette allows them to indulge in what tones nature has to offer.


Remaining sustainable has been very present within my design practice while studying at Emily Carr. A key element of sustainability is to refrain from too excessive, lessening our environmental impact. As mentioned, the current footwear industry is responsible for, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, the disposal of toxic waste into waterways, unethical working conditions, and so much more. For this reason, I’ve chosen to create Troca. Troca is a noticeably natural shoe but, there is a unique aspect of the sole that one would not initially realize. This would be the usage of discarded wine corks and natural adhesives. When assembling, the sole is stitched in certain areas to increase its durability and glued with a natural fixative. This method of assembly has created an easily repairable sole. Most shoes are constructed with nonbiodegradable mediums and therefore end up in a landfill. Society has become accustomed to buying more for less, which ultimately is at the expense of the environment. I chose to address this issue by creating a system of interchangeability within a collection of women’s summer footwear. By having one shoe that can transform into various outcomes, the buyer is encouraged to purchase less and develop a ritual of personalization and emotional value. Troca is not only sustainable through its materials but its rituals and repairability as well.

There are multiple ways of tying a strap, don’t just settle for one style!


Carolina Marques

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Hi, I'm Carolina, an Industrial Designer, based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. As a recent Emily Carr graduate, I strive to create meaningful artifacts that beneficially impact daily life rituals. I frequently aim to remain creative and inspire others for the better, especially when it comes to sustainability and ethics. My educational experience has taught me both hard and soft skills, which I frequently utilize in my design practice. I'm proficient in 3d rendering and have worked with the latest versions of industry software such as Modo, Rhino, and Solidworks. I'm also well versed in adobe creative cloud, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and InDesign. I specifically utilize these programs to generate technical drawings, tech packs, and additional marketing graphics. While, I develop digital renders of goods such as bags, interiors, and furniture, I also have the technical skills and capacity to construct the product from start to finish. While studying at Emily Carr, I’ve had the privilege of working with multiple unique individuals. These experiences have taught me a substantial amount about user-centered design, enabling me to establish an emotional bond between the user and the product. I hope you have enjoyed scrolling through my graduation project, and I look forward to networking in the future.
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