Repost from FH EDIT
After designing shoes for Bottega Veneta, Tory Burch, Cole Haan, and M.Gemi, Mirco Scoccia decided he would influence the fashion industry in a new way — through sustainability. At the beginning of 2021, Mirco Scoccia launched O2 Monde with the motto “Italian shoes, the way nature intended,” bringing together luxury, sustainability, and innovation. In this interview, Mirco discusses his journey to embracing sustainability and where he sees O2 Monde and the shoe industry going in the future.
FH: What inspired you to embrace sustainability in your brand?
MS: After working for more than 20 years for top luxury and contemporary brands, I wanted to come up with a disruptive footwear project while combining the best of my experience with today’s consumer values. I’d like to permanently shift the luxury accessories paradigm by offering design-forward, truly sustainable, cruelty-free, and exquisitely handcrafted footwear that honors the Earth’s heritage and protects its future. The ‘O2 Monde‘ project is a synthesis of my experience. My main goal is to make effortless, expressive shoes that benefit both people and the planet. I want to create timeless, limited edition designs that are also impeccably handcrafted in Italy from the newest and most sustainable eco-materials.
FH: What is your biggest concern regarding the current state of the fashion/lifestyle industries?
MS: Nowadays, it’s popular among big brands to manufacture in countries where cheap labor is legal, which results in far too many human rights disasters. I wanted to go back to my roots and produce vegan footwear collections in Italy with fair labor, adequate wages, and better treatment of factory workers. Additionally, I researched alternative materials to traditional leather, with the highest percentage of renewable plant origin (like pineapple, wine, wood, and corn) and the lowest environmental impact of its raw materials and manufacturing processes. Because the footwear industry is so bloated with cheap goods already, I firmly believe it’s ethical and sustainable to concentrate on producing fewer shoes of higher quality. And because there are also plenty of other aspects involved in establishing an eco-conscious business, I’d like to pay attention also to every single detail, like shipping methods. For example, instead of packaging my product in unnecessary plastic, I’m using recycled materials.
FH: If there was only one thing you could communicate to potential customers about your brand, what would it be?
MS: We are Sustainable/Vegan and use Made-in-Italy craftsmanship, or I would tell them our motto, “Italian shoes, the way nature intended”. O2 Monde designs speak for us. They communicate an ethos and not just an aesthetic. They say less is more – quietly, with an understated confidence and indisputable elegance. It’s elemental. Artisan craftsmanship + sustainable materials = a better future. We make effortless, expressive shoes that benefit both people and planet. Our timeless, limited-edition designs are impeccably handcrafted in Italy from the world’s most innovative plant-based skins. And our supply chain is as transparent as oxygen (O2).
FH: What is one sustainability initiative you would like to tackle in the future?
MS: I’d love to create a new vegan material for O2 Monde shoes. There is a lot of research going on in this new alternative to leather materials right now. I have a few ideas in mind that I’ve already started talking about with a few Italian manufacturers for future development.
FH: Where do you see your brand in five years?
MS: My dream is to evolve and have O2 Monde become a full spectrum sustainable lifestyle brand.