Ever since we founded Flamingos, our aim has been to produce vegan sneakers and save millions of animals that the fashion industry kills to make shoes.
Unfortunately, our alternative was using plastic, a material that’s 99% petroleum-based. Two years ago, we followed our hearts and began developing a new premium material.
We have developed a vegan and biodegradable material that provides a comfortable, environmentally friendly alternative to leather.
The corn waste material has passed the most important quality standards. It’s gone through flexion tests and is actually more durable than leather.
The outer material for Classic 70’s kicks, Old 80’s boots, Retro 90’s sneakers and Roland V.3 sneakers is now made with 47% corn waste material that’s certified by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Bamboo is a fast-growing, renewable and easy to grow material that requires zero chemicals or pesticides and can be grown all over the world. CLASSIC 70’s kicks, OLD 80’s boots, RETRO 90’s sneakers and Roland V.3 collections incorporate lining made from bamboo.
Benefits of bamboo as a sustainable material:
- Renewable resource – bamboo can be harvested in one to five years, depending on the species. In comparison, hardwoods like oak trees grow for at least forty years before they can be harvested.
- Fast growth rate – some species of bamboo will grow as much as 1 metre per day. It’s the fastest growing plant on earth. Bamboo does not require replanting - when harvested, it will grow a new shoot as a result of its extensive root system and help protect the surrounding soil from erosion.
- No chemical pesticides or fertilisers – bamboo requires no agricultural chemicals to grow.
- Tough and durable plant that can be grown throughout the world and thrives even in harsh conditions, from low wetlands to high in the mountains.
- Absorbs greenhouse gases – bamboo sequesters carbon dioxide from the environment and produces 35% more oxygen than equivalent-sized trees. Large-scale bamboo plantations can become effective “carbon sinks,” areas designed to reabsorb CO2 from the atmosphere.
ORGANIC COTTON VS CONVENTIONAL COTTON
Conventional cotton is genetically modified. It's been developed to withstand glyphosate, a pesticide used to eliminate wild plants and pests. It's classified by the WHO as “probably carcinogenic to humans”, degrades ecosystems and pollutes the environment.
Glyphosate is used at 90% of the conventional genetically modified cotton plantations.
Marketed under the name Roundup, it’s a compound that penetrates the soil, filters into drinking water and leaves residue in crops: it’s in what we eat, in the water we drink and in our bodies.
Environmentally, the use of pesticides in cotton monocultures is capable of causing all kinds of damage to habitats, flora and fauna.
In addition, planting conventional cotton also involves purifying the soil with phosphates, killing the soil’s capacity for supporting a variety of plant life and making it unusable for other crops.
The solution is to farm organically, where techniques such as crop diversification and rotation are used to control wild plants and the natural habitat is supported to increase the presence of insects that prevent pests.
Organic cotton is grown using pesticide-free cultivation standards, controlling insects with natural repellents, implementing crop rotation techniques and using natural seed as a base.
Cultivating cotton organically respects the biodiversity of the land where it is grown, which promotes fertility for future crops. Organic growth methods also respect the health of workers who are harmed during conventional cotton cultivation by inhaling chemical products, as well as the health of people who will use the cotton products.
Small local economies are also encouraged, helping farmers to lead more sustainable lives.
Organic cotton is much softer than conventional cotton and keeps skin better ventilated and aerated.
Our El Camino shoes and part of the Rancho collection are made with Organic Cotton.
We are constantly looking for and developing new raw materials that allow us to reduce our environmental impact and save the planet.
After months of research, we have managed to use hemp in one of our sneaker designs for the first time.
Nature is the key to being more sustainable. Hemp is a biodegradable natural fibre. By using this material, we’re closing the manufacturing circle and reducing the waste we produce.
Hemp is a plant with exceptional properties: it grows easily as it hardly needs watering, it has a high capacity for oxygen generation and it also repels bacteria.
Manufacturing just one hemp-based design allows us to save more than 60 litres of water compared to shoes made with leather. This allows us to significantly reduce our water footprint.
Using hemp not only decreases our environmental impact, but also allows us to make longer lasting sneakers because of the material’s durability.
Some designs in the Rancho collection feature outer material made with hemp.
Upcycling consists of recovering materials that have already been consumed (which will not be used again) and transforming them into new materials or products.
Our recycled materials give plastic bottles and waste from the footwear industry a second life, helping to reduce CO2 emissions and water consumption as we are recycling already-manufactured materials.
According to Aitex (Spanish Textile Research Institute), 4000 litres of water are required to manufacture a pair of shoes. By using recycled polyester or cotton, we reduce our water footprint by 40%.
The insoles of some of our designs are made with microplastics recycled directly from waste generated by the footwear industry, which helps us to reduce our water consumption even further.