Favini tells the success story of Womsh
Posted in Sustainability Channel
“Meet the Makers” is a Favini project to give a voice and visibility to advocates of sustainability, by presenting circular economy case studies.
By interviewing experts from the world of the “Makers”, i.e. digital artisans, Favini, has in collaboration with LifeGate decided to showcase examples of excellence and sustainable innovation from across the world.
In so doing, Favini gathers information and tells the interesting stories of a selection of makers, people and companies who have managed to create something unique, modern and profoundly respectful of the environment and people, in line with circular economy.
These products have made the smart use of resources a priority and consider that quality is intertwined with sustainability. This is something that Favini has been doing ever since it was first established.
The first story we would like to tell is about the sustainable shoes created by Womsh. This is a business which like Favini, embraces and puts the principles of sustainability and circular economy into practice.
The case study of Womsh, in brief
Beauty and the attention to the environment are the principles underlying Womsh’s production of sneakers. The made-in-Italy brand offsets its CO2 emissions by planting new trees and uses worn-out shoes to produce floorings for playgrounds. The leather of the new collection is dyed in a natural way or made from apple waste.
Gianni Dalla Mora and Womsh sustainable sneakers
Optimist, traveller, music lover, yoga and tai-chi enthusiast, 56-year-old Gianni Dalla Mora has a great passion: sneakers. This passion was passed on by his parents who owned a shoe store in the Veneto region. His father, in particular, used to tell him the “most technical and emotional aspects of the product”.
His journey in the world of shoes started in 2013 when, after years working as an agent in the footwear industry, he realised that selling products made by others wasn’t enough and wanted to create something on his own. So in response Gianni launched Womsh, giving the brand a sustainable soul from the very beginning.
“I wanted to create attractive shoes that at the same time respect the environment. It was a personal need given my concern about the issue, but rethinking production and consumption processes is actually a global need that involves us all,” explained Dalla Mora. “We can choose three paths: continue the current production system that negatively impacts the environment, stop consuming – which is impossible –, or find a balance between production and consumption thanks to an ethical approach”.
Womsh: “Made in Italy” is a must
Womsh initially started selling online, then in stores since 2014. Their shoes are entirely produced in Italy, by a business that is 90% powered by renewable energy. The “made in Italy” label is fundamental for a number of reasons, from certifying working conditions to guaranteeing the quality of materials, manufacturing and design.
“During fair trade exhibitions I meet people with beautiful ideals who however often forget that products have to be attractive in order to be sold. Our shoes aim to combine trendiness and sustainability: we use high performance materials with a low environmental impact, all without overlooking the stylistic and attractive aspects,” explains the founder of Womsh.
Sustainable shoes that can be recycled and reduce emissions
Womsh joined LifeGate’s Zero Impact® project in 2014. Thanks to the project, the emissions (kilograms of CO2 equivalent) produced by the manufacturing, delivery and disposal of sneakers have been accurately calculated. This is then reduced through strategies to optimise material resource and use, and finally offset through the creation and safeguarding of growing forests in both Italy and Madagascar. Womsh has managed to safeguard an annual average of 11,000 square metres of forests.
Womsh has also invested in the recycling of shoes. Thanks to the project “I giardini di Betty” supported by ESOsport, worn-out sneakers are turned into special floorings for playgrounds.
“Instead of throwing away worn-out shoes, we ask our customers to bring them back to our stores in order to recycle them. We reward the customers who do this with a coupon for their next purchase. In 2017 we recycled 1,500 pairs of shoes. We’re confident this figure will keep increasing,” said Dalla Mora.
Womsh’s commitment for cleaner oceans
Womsh will also join the LifeGate PlasticLess project, an initiative aimed to combat the issue of plastics and micro plastics in Italian seas. This initiative also aims to raise personal and corporate awareness for the reduction and reuse of plastics, whilst also promoting economic and consumption models based on circularity.
Womsh’s founder declared: “We’re thinking about organising a design contest for schools for the creation of a new model of shoe. The winning project will become a limited edition line and the revenues will be given to the LifeGate PlasticLess project. I think the idea of sustainability alone is still not driving people’s purchase, but it certainly represents a plus. A product must be attractive and have the right price. Being sustainable gives an added value to it. Buying a pair of shoes should be a pleasure, but it can also become an act of responsibility”.
Upcycling. How Womsh and Favini reuse agro-industrial waste
Womsh has greener and more ethical news in store for its next collection of sustainable sneakers. Gianni Dalla Mora said: “For Summer 2019 we’ll present sneakers made using a new patented process. It’s a revolutionary pigment-fixing system that allows the dyeing of leather without the use of metal-based products, so creates a non-toxic leather. We’ve also managed to improve our Vegan line. Although of non-animal origin it was produced with polluting substances. Now we produce these shoes with a product from apple waste, with an eye to circular economy”.
Similar to Womsh, Favini launched Crush, the paper line produced with waste from the agri-food sector and which constitutes up to 15% of the cellulose used in production.
Another vision that bonds both Favini and Womsh is the overall attention towards environmental and sustainability issues.
Favini commits to reducing its energy and water consumption along with its CO2 emissions. Also, it actively participates in environmental projects of reforestation, such as the Voiala project in Madagascar.
Conscious of the fact that trees and forests are fundamental resources that are in need of protection, Favini chooses to use only certified sustainable raw materials from responsibly-managed forests.
Womsh’s corporate philosophy has a lot in common with that adopted by Favini. We’ve decided to tell it in order to promote the key elements behind our way of working: sustainability and circular economy.
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