Updated: Sep 25, 2020
If there's one positive thing COVID has given us it is time to reflect, readjust our values and figure out our priorities in life. For TWOOBS founders Jess and Stef Dadon COVID reinvigorated some long-held values around the sustainability and ethics in their brand. We caught up with Jess and Stef to hear about their cancelling of a 23 piece Summer collection to develop a relaunch into more sustainable supply chain they'll now be releasing an 8 piece limited collection made with recycled materials, with big plans to move to carbon-neutral in the future.
"When COVID hit we both just we weren’t making a lot of sales we had the opportunity to stop and think about what do we really want out of this business?" Jess tells The Social Catalog. "We were both doing a lot of yoga and meditation and looking inwards and we were like we can’t keep selling shoes the way we have been the need to be sustainable in order for us to feel good about what we're doing so rather than like a 5-year plan we’re like nup we need an immediate plan." This led TWOOBS to look at their up-coming 23 piece collection in a completely new light, and ultimately decide to cancel it.
"The moment Stef and I had a moment to breathe it did not feel right for us and it wasn’t something that just popped up it had been resonating for a while you know how are we going to align our values with our business. This is and always have been very values-based but the more we learn about the environment the more we just didn’t feel right about it" Jess explains.
Jess and Stef founded TWOOBS with values like animal welfare, environment, female empowerment and inclusivity at the core of their brand. Since it's inception TWOOBS is completely PETA-Approved and made from 100% vegan materials but Jess and Stef wanted to move to even more sustainable practises in this launch and in the future. "We’ve been really surprised that the other sustainable footwear labels that are on the market most of them seem to still use animal products and for us when you’re really leading a business which values animals, animals and the environment just sit hand in hand for us."
"We don't want to harm the environment and we don't want to harm animals and obviously we don't want to harm animal homes which are the environment so it's just this cycle that makes total sense."
- Jess Dadon, Co-Founder TWOOBS
"And in our hearts as well we don't believe that using animal products is sustainable you know that is not the way of the future and we want to be going towards the future." So with this in mind, TWOOBS will be releasing a limited collection of 8 pieces, traditional TWOOBS style made from recycled elastane & lycra, with longevity and timeless style in mind so you can love your TWOOBS shoes for longer.
"You know the average person in the US buys 8 pairs of shoes a year and do we really need 8 pairs of shoes a year? I don’t think that we do, so its also just looking at our offering with that lens of how can we be offering people something that not only they love but they continue to wear through our seasons and hopefully for years so that they're not feeling the need to purchase, purchase, purchase,
But just to love the purchase that they have made."
Jess Dadon, Co-Founder of TWOOBS
The best bit TWOOBS are currently in the process partnering with a shoe recycling facility so if your pieces do get to the end of the life, they'll be recycled and reborn into playmats for children's playgrounds.
As incredible these initiatives are, we asked so how else does TWOOBS give back? "As you can tell we care about a lot of things and we also try to give back in as many ways as we can..the TWO GRANT was something that we absolutely loved doing and we gave that first grant to Shanya." Jess and Stef not only mentor budding female entrepreneurs, but part of the profits from TWOOBS also get passed onto female-run startups, like Shanya who received $7000 in funds and services to build fashion sharing platform Coclo.
Unfortunately this year their grant process was put on hold with COVID, but Jess and Stef have put the funds to good use moving TWOOBS towards being a carbon-neutral organisation with their sustainability re-launch in 2021. "The aim is to completely minimise our carbon footprint so that will look like us having certified suppliers but then also little things that we’re still learning about, like having all your suppliers be in the same radius, in one place so that all of the materials and components of the shoes don't have to travel which massively minimises our footprint."
"Ultimately the idea is to minimise as much as possible... at the moment we’re partnered with eco-cart (which lets customers select to offset the environmental impact of their orders) and they have projects in different areas. But we ultimately would love a project based in China, as that’s where our products come from so it feels right to us to also restore the environment from where we are taking the materials, so they have projects there where they plant trees and have different projects with the community to also promote jobs.
It's so multifaceted but its also very exciting."
- Jess Dadon, Co-Founder of TWOOBS
We're excited too! We can't wait for their relaunch in 2021, but for now, we are keeping an eye out for their sustainable summer range dropping in October!
The Social Catalog is always searching for new products and services we hope you enjoy the brands and businesses we recommend