W O R D S by F a i t h L e M a s t e r s
As a vegan and luxury fashion enthusiast, I was thrilled with the opportunity to interview Mirco Scoccia (formerly the Senior Design Director at Bottega Veneta) to discuss the future of plant-based leather in the fashion industry.
It was a risk launching his dream concept at the beginning of a pandemic.
O2 Monde – interpretive of a second world – is an innovative footwear label that uses sustainable, plant-based materials such as Piñatex (PVC-free leather derived from pineapple) and Vitigna (an ultramodern textile made from wine grapes).
His journey to find durable yet ethical and earth-friendly materials started two years ago when Mirco began researching sustainable textiles used in everything from furniture manufacturing to car interiors.
During our interview, Scoccia emphasized his priority for and the importance of sustainability as a vegan fashion brand. As tanneries are one of the top causes of pollution in the world, creating vegan alternatives with no leather or animal byproducts is one of the most efficient ways to reduce our carbon footprint globally.
Scoccia once lived near a tannery himself and spoke of the air quality and pollution in the area saying, “it’s really impossible to live there.” His goal is to represent sustainability with true circularity – everything should be reused and recycled as much as possible.
A local Italian supply chain allows Scoccia to oversee the entire production line which in turn, allows him to share traceability and impact with his customers. External, ad-hoc suppliers must have relevant and suitable certifications, provide ethical work conditions, and recycle unused material.
One of his latest connections is SCRAP NYC; the startup sorts the various material types in used apparel and accessories and recycles each into a new textile to reduce garment waste in landfill.
Scoccia wants not only to build a lifestyle brand, but show other brands that there is a cleaner way of doing things – that considered manufacturing can have a positive impact on both planet and the economy.
O2 Monde's shoes are equally gorgeous and luxurious as they are ethical and sustainable. Scoccia shared that his aesthetic and design process is heavily influenced by the natural world and travel, “I usually start from the shapes and volume. I think about and I’m always inspired by the shapes of nature. And then, the second thing is the color; so I build my color collections from my travel, research and exhibitions.
"He proceeds to create a mood board that connects all his inspirations to form a cohesive collection. Scoccia also holds a dear appreciation for vintage shoes, of which he has a large archive.
Having the knowledge of these creative inspirations, it becomes apparent as to why O2 Monde shoes are timeless, effortlessly elegant, and versatile. They blend seamlessly with the world around them while adding distinct glamour to an ensemble.
From "Finding Éthique: Winter 2022 Issue Preview", as published by ONE30M