This Former Bottega Veneta Designer Just Debuted a Sustainable Shoe Line That Includes a Greta Thunberg-Inspired Sneaker
Sustainable fashion will continue to be a new frontier for designers in 2021, and Mirco Scoccia is the latest to take the plunge, with the launch of his new shoe line, O2 Monde.
Scoccia, who is currently the creative director of Aerosoles, has nearly two decades of experience designing shoes for Bottega Veneta, Tory Burch, Jill Stuart, Belstaff, Cole Haan and M. Gemi. After working for luxury brands across Europe and the U.S., the veteran designer decided to launch a line that wasn’t just about beautifully-crafted Italian footwear, but one that also tackled fashion’s not-so-chic waste issue.
“I worked for luxury companies and I just saw so much waste during production. I stopped to think about what could we do to make it more sustainable?,” Scoccia said, who also put in time at Le Silla and Fabi Shoes.
Using textiles such as Freska, made from a mixture of corn and cereal, Pinatex, from pineapple and Vitigna, a leather-like material derived from grape skins, the founder and creative director of O2 Monde has created a line of women’s shoes ranging from chic heels to comfortable flats and sneakers.
The new collection retails between $268-$398, and several styles are named after different women who have been pivotal in environmental activism and conservation, such as the Greta sneaker, inspired by Greta Thunberg. Notably, for each pair of shoes purchased, the sustainable shoe brand will donate 1% of its profits to One Percent Planet to offset its environmental impact.
Scoccia is serious about the transparency of his shoes, prioritizing vegan-friendly materials including Bioveg, a leather made from vegetable oil and recycled polyester reclaimed from water bottles. According to the designer, the process for seeking out these responsibly-sourced materials took almost three years, adding that he sourced textiles from the interior design and car industries to make his innovative footwear line.
“The biggest challenge was to source the right factories, how can they adapt to these new materials?,” said Scoccia.
Aside from sustainability, another prerogative the designer stands by is fully crafting O2 Monde out of Italy.
He credits this sentiment to his childhood, where he grew up helping his father in their family-owned shoe factory in Fermo, Italy. The O2 Monde designer believes that marrying craft with new materials marks an evolutionary step for the footwear industry.
“In the last four of five years there are some shoe companies that were successful in designing sustainable footwear, but they were not produced in Italy,” Scoccia said. “I’ve worked with the best people and manufacturers in Italy. You are not influenced by trends and merchandising. It’s not product-driven. You can make something new and disruptive. It’s not unlimited, but there’s a big budget for the development.”
O2 Monde works with regions throughout central Italy for its footwear, with each area focusing on a different footwear style. Scoccia told FN he has a special relationship with his suppliers and manufacturers, who have been flexible with the use of new materials not typically used in footwear production.
“I know the suppliers and have a special relationship with them. I like to think out of the box to use grape and wood and everyone has been willing to take a chance and use these materials,” said Scoccia.
What’s next for the designer and O2 Monde?
Scoccia told FN that he’s applying for O2 Monde to be a Certified B Corp brand, a credit that certifies the highest standards as a sustainable business. Additionally, the new line, which debuted on Jan. 1, 2021, has already been approved by PETA.
“People have a lot of great expectations for 2021. A big hope for the future,” said Scoccia on launching O2 Monde at the start of the new year.