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 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.
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. A year ago, we followed our hearts and began developing a new premium material.
We have developed a vegan, biodegradable and organic 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 the Roland V.3 sneakers is now made with 47% corn waste material that’s certified by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Organic cotton vs. conventional cotton
Conventional cotton is genetically modified. It's benn 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 in 90% of 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.
The main at-risk groups are people who work in agriculture and their families (source: Greenpeace).
Environmentally, the use of pesticides in cotton monocultures is capable of causing all kinds of damage to habitats, flora and fauna.
In the past, planting conventional cotton has also involved purifying the soil with phosphates, killing the soil’s capacity for supporting a variety of plant life and making it unusable for other crops (source: Patagonia Inc).
The use of genetically modified seeds also has a social cost. Farmers have to sign annual contracts with companies that own the seed patents and these companies have been known to increase their prices, year on year. So, farmers have to spend more and can become impoverished.
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.
Upcycling consists of recovering materials that have already been used or consumed (which will not be used again) and transforming them into new materials or products.
Plastic bottles, plastic materials from the footwear industry that normally go to waste and recycled cotton: our recycled materials give waste products a second life, which reduces CO2 emissions and water consumption as they are pre-manufactured materials.
According to Aitex (Textile Technological Institute), manufacturing shoes requires 4,000 litres of water. Using recycled polyester or recycled cotton reduces the water footprint by 40%.
With each Flamingos shoe you use, you’re saving an average of 1,600 litres of water.
The fabric we use to make our shoes comes from recycled polyester made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
It’s one of the materials best suited to recycling according to Greenpeace, that also reduces CO2 emissions to the atmosphere by 50%.
According to the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), the global recycling of materials means a reduction of 700 million tons of C02 every year.
According to Mike Berners-Lee’s book How bad are bananas?, for every kilogram of plastic that’s manufactured, 3.5 kilograms of CO2 are released into the atmosphere. If it’s recycled PET, then this reduces to 1.7 kilograms of CO2.
On average, 2 recycled plastic bottles are required to produce a pair of Flamingos shoes.
Up until today, with your support we’ve:
recycled 21,941 plastic bottles