Dooeys – Reimagining Slippers in a Sustainable Way

Working as a administration guide with zero style expertise, I didn’t got down to be a shoe designer and even work within the style trade. Nonetheless, in 2018 I got here up with an concept I couldn’t get out of my head and have spent the final 4 years constructing a sustainable model round it. It began once I moved to Amsterdam and started working from dwelling. Spending much more time in my condo, I attempted to construct good habits — particularly not sitting all day — and realized that day-after-day I used to be selecting between sporting snug out of doors sneakers or ugly, unsupportive slippers to be snug on my toes at dwelling. After trying to find months and never discovering any slippers that had a touch of favor with precise foot assist, I made a decision to create them. And Dooeys was born.

I knew I needed to design one thing that regarded completely different from conventional slippers. So, I invented what I name the slipshoe® — the proper mixture between a comfortable slipper and a trendy but supportive shoe. As I started researching supplies, I rapidly discovered how dangerous an affect the style trade has on the planet — contributing 10% of world carbon emissions. I knew from that second {that a} core a part of the Dooeys model can be a dedication to sustainability.

By this expertise, I discovered methods to construct a sustainable enterprise. And I additionally picked up loads of nice assets and ideas that I take advantage of in my private life on methods to store sustainably and what to search for in manufacturers.

Selecting Plant-Based mostly & Recycled Supplies

I acknowledged if I needed to create sustainable slippers with an elevated design, I must keep away from the standard supplies you see in most slippers available on the market right this moment. These embrace felt, virgin polyester, and supplies produced from animals, akin to suede, wool, shearling, and leather-based.

I spent a yr and a half sourcing and testing high-quality, sustainable supplies. The result’s the slipshoes you see right this moment — fashionable and supportive designs made utilizing solely plant-based and recycled supplies (100% vegan). We use a stupendous bio-based leather-based produced from apples, sneaker-like soles made with sugarcane EVA, lining produced from recycled plastic, and arch-supporting insoles produced from cork and recycled foam.

Dooeys slippers

These supplies scale back the CO2 affect by minimizing waste and changing environmentally dangerous substances with bio-based options. For instance, the apple leather-based we use is produced from apple skins and cores that the apple juice trade would in any other case discard as waste. Floor right into a powder, the skins and cores are used to make stunning, but sturdy vegan leather-based. This has a considerably decrease environmental affect than the method of manufacturing actual animal leather-based — to not point out it’s cruelty-free.

As for the sugarcane EVA we use for our soles, the sugarcane replaces petroleum-based materials present in regular EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate), so we’re capable of obtain the identical softness and suppleness of the EVA you’d discover in a pair of sneakers however in a extra sustainable approach. Plus, uncooked sugarcane is a renewable useful resource that really reduces greenhouse fuel emissions by absorbing CO2 within the environment.

Tip #1: When looking for clothes on-line, verify the web site for particulars in regards to the supplies the model makes use of in its merchandise

Search for supplies produced from pure, plant-based, or recycled fibers or natural supplies. Some nice supplies to maintain an eye fixed out for natural cotton, hemp, lyocell/Tencel, plant-based leather-based (cactus, apple, pineapple, mushroom, and many others.), recycled polyester, cork, and recycled rubber. It is best to be capable to discover this info on the product web page or a How They’re Made, Supplies, or Sustainability web page. If the model isn’t clear about its supplies and processes, it’s probably not a terrific selection.

Constructing a Enterprise Round Sustainability

Sustainability goes additional than what a product is manufactured from. It’s the packaging, who makes your merchandise, the place they’re manufactured, the way you transport them, and a lot extra. At Dooeys, we take the time and use the assets to do issues the correct approach. So, not solely can we make our product from all recycled supplies however we’re additionally dedicated to carbon impartial delivery, which signifies that our product produces a internet zero quantity of carbon dioxide. Our packaging is produced from recycled cardboard and recycled paper and our shoe field can be the delivery field.

Dooey slippers in cardboard box for shipping

Tip #2: Perceive what packaging the model makes use of and the way it’s shipped

That is often highlighted on the product web page. If not, you are able to do a fast Google picture or video seek for the product identify and embrace “unboxing” to see what the packaging seems like. A model that avoids a field inside a delivery field and chooses recycled — and recyclable — supplies is the best way to go. Search for phrases like “carbon impartial” to see if the model offsets emissions. It’s also possible to search for callouts like “1% for the Planet” or an About web page to see if the model offers again in a roundabout way.

The Moral Influence

Manufacturing ethically was a pure extension of our model. Going past the sustainability affect, being socially accountable was essential as properly. For us, which means we ethically manufacture our slippers in small batches in northern Portugal, as an alternative of going the cheaper route and discovering a low-cost answer the place labor exploitation or compelled labor is operating rampant. It was vital to us that our product be handcrafted by employees making a dwelling wage and that we might make a constructive affect on the neighborhood surrounding the ability.

Moreover, we attempt to at all times select the bottom affect type of transportation to our warehouse within the U.S., we offset the carbon emissions of delivery each order, and we give again to environmental organizations all year long. We’re not good, however we’re at all times making an attempt to be higher to cut back our affect on the atmosphere.

Worker assembles a slipper

Tip #3: Discover out the place the product is made and who makes it

Make certain the employees earn a good wage and work in a secure and wholesome atmosphere. It’s not a superb signal if it’s tough to search out the place a product is made on a model’s web site.

Simple Ways To Store Sustainably

Purchasing sustainably isn’t onerous, however it is very important modify your mindset. It may be straightforward to fall into the price range traps from quick style costs however we have to shift our outlook and notice the worth of investing in high-quality items that we’ll love for years to come back.  Should you’re eager about sustainable procuring however don’t actually need to analysis each model individually, there are numerous marketplaces and directories that cater to the acutely aware client. These web sites have vetted these manufacturers for his or her dedication to sustainability and moral manufacturing. So, they’ve completed the give you the results you want, making it easy to buy sustainably.

Tip #4: Store from marketplaces that target sustainable merchandise and moral manufacturing

Some marketplaces to think about embrace Made Commerce, Verishop, and OurGoodBrands.

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