What is sustainable fashion?

 Can be defined as fashion that is produced, marketed and used in the most sustainable manner possible, without creating harm to the environment.

 FOR BRANDS this means creating in a way which is most considerate of humanity and the environment.

FOR CONSUMERS this means thinking about what they buy and knowing which philosophies and values they want to support.

 

 

Why Is Sustainable Fashion Important?

The fashion Industry is one of the most polluting in the world. Nobody questions today that the planet is suffering from severe agony from human destruction. Only now we are becoming conscious of the causes from our Industrialization and the waste and harm it creates. Climate change, plastic pollution, deforestation, loss of coral reefs & biodiversity, water scarcity are some of the terrible consequences.

More than 23 billion pairs of sneakers are made every year and over 300 million pairs are thrown out annually, which, on average, will take hundreds of years to fully decompose in a landfill or in the ocean. Most of these sneakers are made out of plastic. Every year more that 8 million tons of waste are dumped into our oceans contaminating and killing thousands of species. Apparel and footwear production also make up more than 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The United Nations says that if we are to save the planet, the fashion industry has to change.

At Dolfie, we are proud to create clothing and shoes that reflect our values and lifestyle philosophy. Our main goal is to inspire and motivate people to live in harmony with one another and with our precious mother nature. There is nothing that can deviate us from our core values and philosophy. We have a saying: “GOOD THINGS COME TO GOOD HEARTS” which for us means making the best possible, in the nicest possible way always being respectful to our planet and all living things.

Dolfie products are made in the most sustainable manner possible to reduce, or completely avoid, environmental degradation throughout their life cycle. Our aspiration is to minimize all undesirable environmental effect by making products that have a useful purpose.

Sustainable fashion matters more than ever and involves all of us. The choice is ours. We can decide the kind of world we want.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

 

Everyone is talking about Fair Trade these days.

What is Fair Trade? Fair trade is an institutional arrangement designed to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions. Members of the fair
trade movement advocate the payment of higher prices to exporters, as well as improved social and environmental standards. It focuses in particular on products which are typically exported from developing countries to developed countries, meaning made in poor countries and sold in rich countries.

Fashion brands don’t go to underdeveloped countries for any other reason than getting the cheapest labor as possible. Fashion is not produced in Europe or the United
States anymore. While in the 60’s Europe and USA was still making the 95% of the clothes, today only 2% is made in these countries. The remaining 98% is going to developing countries around the world.

Fair Trade is also a certified business where members have to pay large amounts of money to obtain the Fair Trade certificate.

With this in mind, some criticisms can be raised about fair trade systems.

DOLFIE: MADE IN THE GLORIOUS SOUTHERN EUROPE. We strive to take a step back to produce like in the old golden days. “Our Shoes are made LOCALLY in Spain, Portugal and Italy.

What is the real difference in cost of goods between an independent brand like Dolfie and a Mass-market Brand making thousands of Sneakers in China?

When broken down, the difference is astounding. It costs 14 times more in labor alone to produce a sneaker in Europe in small quantities than in China and it costs 5 to 7 times more when they are made with ecological and sustainable materials.

Bringing Dolfie to the streets, involves a great number of individuals and organisms, Design, Research, Development, Manufacturers, Suppliers, Stores…all of which invest time and concerted effort so Dolfie can go from dreamy ideas to reality.

Dolfies should cost more than double the price. Dolfie is hand crafted in artisan shoe workshops in the glorious Southern Europe only from locally sourced premium Sustainable materials. As you can imagine, none of this is cheap.

So how we do it then? 

We try to make DOLFIE as affordable as possible and set prices according to the costs of producing each piece we make. We have often been tempted to produce in Asia or South America where the cost of producing shoes is infinitely lower, like most of the brands do…but it would compromise our principles and values. 

As you know, especially on sneakers, 80% of the cost of a big sneaker brand goes into Advertising. For the big companies all that matters is money and more money and if you only care about profit, you’re going to skimp on the product.

At Dolfie, avoiding advertising, we can make shoes that are immensely more expensive to produce and focus only on what matters the most: making really great products. We prefer to invest in sustainability, quality and where and who make Dolfie.

Money or richness was never what drove us to create DOLFIE, we use it as a channel to express our ideas and as a way to be happy and productive in the world. Our greatest fulfillment is to have people who appreciate our Art. A happy customer is our best marketing. When you put your heart into something and not bother about the result, in the long term, the outcome is always positive.

The factories we choose to work with are some of the best in the world, and the relationships we have developed are based on mutual trust and respect. Producing in Southern Europe offer assurances both ethically and environmentally. Europe manufacturers are the world’s most energy efficient, they produce less waste and fewer emissions. We only work with factories that have strict environmental and labor policies put into place. Our shoemakers are paid handsomely for their work, which allows them opportunities to better provide for their families and to give back to their communities.

Our shoes are for the conscious consumer. The smart consumer. Purchasing a high quality product that’s made the right way, is not only the best thing for you, but for the world at large.

It’s up to you to decide what to buy, what companies to support, and what to wear.   Value what you wear and wear what you value.

What is ETHICAL fashion?

Ethical is used one of two ways:

1. No animals were harmed to make the product. 

This has to do with Vegan Fashion except that absolutely no animal products were used to make the good.

This one is a bit controversial and contradictory for Dolfie. Actually, both of the founders of Dolfie are vegetarians and don´t eat meat for respect for the animals among other reasons. Our philosophy is to be kind and compassionate towards all sentient beings. Contradictorily, we make leather shoes and it makes us feel so frustrated.

However, we refuse to do as all the so-called Vegan brands and use PLASTIC products instead which pollute and destroy the planet and it´s a great cause of extinction of many animal species. Products such as PU, TPU and other plastic derives. There are many companies out there trying to hop on the sustainability trend only to increase sales and profit without really caring about environmental pollution just bragging that they are vegan and producing plastic garbage which is arguably worse. For them, sustainability is marketing and nothing more. Today, 94% of sneakers on the market are composed of plastics. We refuse to add to this environmental catastrophy.

We know it does not help much to the cruelty free cause, but we make sure that all leather used in our collections is derived from the food industry, with legal certification, never intended for fashion in any way. We have promised ourselves and to YOU our full commitment in ensuring that our products do not contribute to the abuse or animal exploitation. The Leather we use is carefully inspected and only reused after verifying its treatment and history, making sure it does not come from repulsive factory farms where thousands of animals are killed ruthlessly. To the best of our damn ability, we locate, we acknowledge and certify where and how our materials are sourced…never did we or will we consider exports from China, which is currently the world’s largest leather exporter with some of the most horrific killing methods.

Almost all the leather we used is Ecological. Our ecological leather is a genuine leather but the tanning process is vegetal, containing no chemicals in order to reduce the environmental impact and protect you and our planet.

We would love to be a 100% cruelty free brand. therefor one of our main goals is to keep researching for new alternative non-toxic environmentally friendly materials as substitutes for animal leather. Our values in who we are and what we create only aim to reflect love, passion, and responsibility towards the betterment of this world. It’s naïve to make empty promises or make you believe that we will change this world…although, we will never give up trying.

2. Workers were treated with respect.

This is totally out of the question. Our shoes aren’t churned out in soulless Chinese factories where workers are exploited to the max under dangerous environments, low wages and lack of basic human rights.

Dolfie is carefully hand crafted by some of the best shoemakers in Southern Europe like in the old golden days, where workers are highly respected, have fair wages and have some of the best working conditions in the world. It´s the choice that we made since the beginning. We love to encourage the preservation of cultural heritage through craft traditions and feel gratified to have the honor to work with some of the best local artisanal shoemakers from Portugal, Spain and Italy.

 

Why Transparency in Fashion is Important?

Only now we are becoming conscious of the waste and harm fashion creates. 98% of today´s fashion is made in developing countries because it´s immensely cheaper than it is domestically. Sadly, a vast amount of it is made indiscriminately, imprudently without consideration for environmental and labor conditions. The fashion industry is famous for low wages and worker abuse in dangerous conditions, in fact it is one of the biggest responsible for modern slavery. Child labor is common, where more than 160 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are forced to work.

As we become aware of these alarming facts, many are demanding to know how and where their clothes are made and specially learn that their clothing wasn’t made by unethical or exploitative means.

You love this planet and want to maintain it as good as you can…and you love fashion?

Start asking questions like:  

Where is the product made? Who is manufacturing the product? Where is fabric being sourced? What are the working conditions?

The good news is that improvements are being made. Many brands in the industry, big or small, are now striving to be as transparent as they can. These conscious brands care about people, products and our planet.

Dolfie shoes are made differently. Dolfie is hand crafted in ethical workshops in the glorious Southern Europe only from locally sourced premium Sustainable materials. Southern Europe is probably one of the most expensive places to produce but also one of the places with larger traditional craftmanship and expertise in shoe making. Our shoemakers are paid handsomely for their work, which allows them opportunities to better provide for their families and to give back to their communities.  We are proud to create a positive chain for a better world and proud to stay true to our core values of love, peace and happiness. 

Maybe we are just a bunch of dreamers or dare say hippies, that strive for love and beauty in the most original way. Dolfie is our instrument to escape reality but more importantly a channel to express our ideas to empower, motivate and inspire people to living happier and more fulfilled lives in harmony with nature, to challenge corruption and rebel against injustice. The good news is we are a tribe now, a tribe of good people, a global force. Let them say we are crazy, what do they know? We can build this dream together. We can change the world together. The way of LIFE can be free and beautiful.

Now it’s up to you to decide what to buy, what companies to support, and what to wear. 

Value what you wear and wear what you value.

What is Upcycling?

Upcycling consists in recycling materials or products that have fallen
out of use in order to turn them into higher quality or more useful products.

Why we love upcycling?

This is our approach and contribution to the preservation of the environment and the reduction of waste as part of our zero waste philosophy by reusing and upcycling materials.

Upcycling and Recycling reduces the risk of waste ending up in landfills or in the oceans, by giving it a second life.

Several types of recycled and transformed materials are used in our Collections.

Turning waste into innovative materials : Dolfie´s SAVE THE OCEAN project. In this project we make Dolfie sneakers out of plastic collected from the Mediterranean Sea which is transformed into high-quality recycled yarn.  Just like that we can use the toxic plastics of our ocean and turn them into high quality fabrics to make neat Sneakers, give plastic a second life and clean our oceans.

We also use recycled cotton in several of our sneakers. Recycled cotton is made from used cotton garments that were thrown away, treated in order to get back the best properties. Using Recycled cotton from used garments is DOLFIE´S commitment to minimize the environmental impact, reducing the need to burry those textiles in landfills or ending up in the oceans. 

 

DOLFIE BOXES: We use 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard for Dolfie´s shoe boxes and hang-tags. 

 

Our recycled materials give waste a second life, and allow us to create eco-friendly shoes and sneakers for a more sustainable world.

Let the BEAUTY we love become the GOOD we do

We are passionate about our brand and our desire is to produce the best clothes and shoes in the world always leaving the minimal footprint, always contributing to the protection and preservation of the environment. DOLFIE wants to set an example that it´s possible to produce wonderful things without the use of damaging materials. Our values in who we are and what we create only aim to reflect love, passion, and responsibility towards the betterment of this world.  It´s never too late to seek a newer world…the choice is ours.

Our main goal is to use materials that are kinder to the environment.

Dolfie uses ECOLOGICAL LEATHER. Our ecological leather is a genuine leather but the tanning process is vegetal, containing no chemicals in order to reduce the environmental impact and protect you and our planet. Vegetable tanning is eco-friendly. It´s a natural process free of toxics and chemicals made with organic substances present in trees and plants. 

Another fabric that we love to use in our collections is SUSTAINABLE HEMP. Hemp is an eco-friendly fabric whose cultivation is respectful with the environment. The main reason why hemp is considered the most eco-friendly crop is because it needs no pesticides in its cultivation and it does not require a lot of water to grow. Hemp is good for the land as it renews the soil with each growth cycle.