With a seal of approval from Hollywood’s A-List, LØCI is celebrating one year in business and recognising the power of its various partnerships. This independent British brand is the darling of fashion-conscious consumers with its ranges of sustainable and vegan sneakers.
In addition to being the go-to footwear choice for Ben Affleck, Olivia Wild, Mila Kunis, Gwyneth Paltrow, The Rock Dwayne Johnson and Alicia Keys – to name but a few, the vegan sneaker company enjoys a successful association with key household names.
Co-founder and CEO, Emmanuel Eribo, is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about start-ups with experience across multiple sectors. That said, footwear does seem to be his calling.
Eribo previously founded Butterfly Twists, a footwear brand that promotes a collection in partnership with Casa Zeta Jones, the curated range of lifestyle products from Catherine Zeta Jones. Butterfly Twists has grown over a steady ten year period and distributes over one milli0n pairs a year in over 60 countries.
LØCI was ‘up and running’ as a sought-after brand in just a matter of months, setting an impressive pace for other entry brands in the crowded footwear marketplace.
Tatler and Stylist magazine have showcased LØCI in fashion features as a ‘must-have’ footwear brand; the actress and environmentalist, Nikki Reed, created an exclusive collection of unisex vegan sneakers for the brand that sold out soon after it was ‘dropped.’
Yet Eribo holds firm that “LØCI has to be about more than just selling shoes”. His personal mission and the brand’s commitment is to a sustainable product offer that makes a real difference.
“LØCI is about building a community that will go on to be a movement. It’s all about making a real impact; we’re here to disrupt, challenge and educate”.
When it comes to sustainability, education is key. Consumers can often feel bewildered about how to navigate green-washing messages and authentically sustainable organisations.
Recently, UK TV’s Channel 4 accused Adidas of greenwashing as part of its Dispatches programme, indicating that the sportswear brand’s ‘ocean plastic’ trainers are made from throwaway bottles found on land in the Maldives that are then flown 4000 miles to Taiwan before manufacturing commences.
In their right to reply, Adidas highlighted that ‘ it clearly explains what Parley Ocean Plastic is on its website, relevant product pages and stores. ‘
Getting the consumer to even find your brand in a sea of sneaker choices can be quite the challenge for a start-up, before you can even highlight your green credentials. However, LØCI’s success lies with its working partnerships.
Eribo explains:“There is a lot of noise today, so much so that sometimes it’s really hard to know who anyone is or what they stand for. For a new brand you can quickly explain who you are and what’s important to you by making the right alignments, standing with those that believe in the world as you see it. We’ve been really fortunate with LØCI. There has been quite the buzz around us and it’s allowed us to pick the best partners that we think really represent similar beliefs”
The brand has recently announced a collaboration with members’ club Soho House & Co., as the official footwear supplier for all its houses globally.
With a significant list of further design and media partners to be announced this year, it seems that we will all be hearing more about this vegan fashion disruptor.
Disruption is indeed part of the mission, with the brand bold enough to point out the impact of leather sneakers on the world currently.
LØCI states that over one billion animals a year are needed to satisfy the demands of the current leather sneaker market; eight million pieces of plastic enter the world’s oceans each day, each and every one a potential risk to marine animals.
The brand claims that it is committed to a different path which each pair of its footwear made with only vegan materials and recycled plastics. With each pair comes a donation of profits to good causes.
“Today, storytelling is such a big part of retail. People don’t want you at them selling today as much as they want to support why you are doing it. The ‘why’ plays such an integral role, we are here not to sell shoes … we’ve done that before; we are here to make a significant positive impact. The more successful we become, the bigger the impact we can make” explains Eribo.
“We’re just getting started, it’s not even the tip of the iceberg.”