The fashion and livestock industries are two of the top sectors that continue to pollute the planet day in and day out. It’s a constant battle between consumers wanting immediate brand transparency and companies making slow, incremental change. We have seen some start to make the necessary transformations, but there’s still a lot of empty Earth Day gestures.
To help push these brands further in the right direction, consumers can and should shift their attention from the big industry players to smaller brands who are already doing the work.
Flamingos Life is a perfect example of this. It’s a small footwear brand offering vegan sneakers that are ethically made in Spain. Its recent Heritage collection takes retro-inspired silhouettes through vintage-like colorways, matching the minimal off-white, greys and browns with pops of several colors like reds, blues and yellows. Four models – Classic 70’s, Old 80’s, Retro 90’s, and Roland V.3 – with 27 total different colorways.
All Heritage sneakers incorporate bamboo for the inner lining, a renewable resource with a fast growth rate which relies on zero chemical pesticides or fertilizers, and corn waste that’s certified by the United States Department of Agriculture for the upper. The collection’s removable insoles are made with cork, while the outsoles utilize natural and recycled rubber. Compared to leather shoes, an analysis done in partnership with consulting company BCOME shows that Flamingos Life sneakers use 16% less water and emit 49% less CO2.
This “sustainability report” is not only listed on the brand’s website, but each sneaker also comes with a QR code tag that lists out these points in an easy-to-navigate digital experience.
“Veganism is a vehicle for change. It is the key to reducing CO2 emissions, saving water, and respecting the life of other living beings,” the brand says.
Flamingos Life aims to directly combat the ecological effects that already exist due in part to the footwear industry and larger fashion world as a whole. Creating fully biodegradable sneakers is their priority while instilling safe work practices within production held in Elche, Spain – a network of centers around the city all managed by families.
The brand doesn’t create because there is a need for more new shoes. There’s a need for new options, and while doing so, there’s a need to find ways to better the planet through each collection. Flamingos Life works in collaboration with the NGA Agua ONG to bring clean water to remote areas of Uganda, as well as with the NGO Eden Reforestation Projects to plant trees in deforested areas in Madagascar and Mozambique.
In other footwear news, check out our story on the need for running shoe companies to offer replacement soles.