There’s no shortage of “vegan” shoes on the market, though A design house is determined to make vegan footwear the norm, not just an alternative to leather. Løci does more than just reinvent how shoes are made – the brand blurs the lines between ‘sneaker’ and ‘shoe’. Celebrities and their fans take notice: One of the designs, the Løci Nine, has sold out eight times since it recently debuted.
First, Løci says it is determined to end the use of animal products in the fashion industry and is trying to stem the flow of plastic into the world’s oceans. This promise can be seen and felt in the upper of all Løci shoes: they don’t appear to be made of leather, but they don’t look like your usual canvas or polyester sneakers either. The shoes offer a strength and shine that together entice their owners to wear them with jeans – or even a suit.
Then there are the insoles of the shoe, and again Løci stands out. The brand uses cork, which feels sturdy yet soft underfoot, secure yet lightweight. Løci says it also uses cork as it is hypoallergenic and allows the foot to mold comfortably in the shoe.
Underneath the insole, Løci says it only uses natural rubber for its shoe soles. Bamboo and recycled nylon form the lining of the sneaker. Even the eyelets through which the shoes are laced have sustainability street credentials: they are made from recycled brass.
Beyond the design of the shoes, Løci looks for stylists who share the brand’s sustainability mentality. designers Ilaria Urbinati and Laura Sophie Coxfor example, recently launched an eco-focused unisex footwear collection – and more collaborations are set to launch in the coming months.
So far, the company says it has prevented 1 million plastic bottles from ending up in the world’s oceans; Each pair of shoes contains the equivalent of 20 PET bottles. Løci also donates 10 percent of the profits from all shoes sold online various non-profit animal and environmental organizations.
Løci and other disruptors in the fashion industry face many uphill battles. According to the brand, 8 million pieces of plastic end up in the oceans every day; more than a billion animals are killed each year to meet the world’s need for leather; Cattle farming, in turn, is the biggest cause of deforestation and loss of animal habitats. But considering the A-listers that are Grab those shoesLøci might be able to round up some voices that can amplify how the fashion industry is wreaking havoc on the planet – and show how better products can help curb these troubling trends.
Credit: Leon Kaye