Approaching Planet Love
Does fashion love our planet?
I founded della terra because of my love for our planet and my need to create something whose design values the earth itself. After eighteen years of designing shoes for other brands I grew more and more obsessed with fashion, but increasingly concerned about the footprint and waste that the fashion industry was imposing upon our beautiful world. The fashion industry is one of the largest contributors to the depletion of natural resources for profit. Creating just another line of shoes that would be bought, sold and eventually thrown away was something I had no appetite for. I began to marinate in the idea of a truly sustainable shoe brand, and what that would mean for the world of fashion.
What would sustainable shoes look like, smell like, feel like? How would we go about communicating the sustainable message to our customers? Was it something they cared about? Before taking the leap to launch this brand, I had to feel I had good answers to all of these questions.
It all began with inspiration; della terra means “of the earth” in Italian. When I started sketching, I realized that my entire design inspiration comes from the earth. The color, the texture, the vibe. This earth is oceans and grasses and trees, but it also is about urban cityscapes and the relationships people have with one another. It is hard to wrap your head around the fact that every sip of water, every swim, every animal and literally every breath would not be possible without the Earth itself. It can be overwhelming to examine each package we open and every choice we make about what to buy, wear and eat and how each one has an impact on our environment.
Next, it was incredibly important that the sourcing and production of the line live up to the inspiration itself. This meant never using animal products, exploring a lot and partnering with factories and suppliers that shared our values.
Where are della terra shoes made?
della terra shoes are made in fair wage factories in Brazil that consume electric energy generated from clean sources such as hydroelectric and eolic (wind) power. They are carbon neutral and consume zero KW from fossil fuel power plants. These amazing communities of artisans have diversity and inclusion programs as well as young learning programs.
What is vegan leather?
Our biobased vegan leather is comes from Italy and is developed using low environmental impact production processes that utilize reduced energy waste of water, electricity and gas. These ecological recycled material includes renewable plant sources such as pineapple, corn, grape-seed and castor oil, on a frame made of vegetable and bamboo fibers.
Knowing that the factories and shipping were already carbon neutral gave us a starting point to jump off from that felt environmentally and ethically responsible and realistic with our goals. We learned about the benefits of reforestation and decided early on that we would partner with One Tree Planted to plant one tree with every single pair of shoes we sell. When we were granted the highly coveted B Corp (pending) status, we knew we could feel proud that sustainable and ethical values were not only in our philosophy, but certified in our company’s founding documents as well.
The design itself needs to feel sustainable too. Our goal is never to create a shoe you wear for one season, but instead to continue to build a line of evergreen essentials that can be layered in with new and re-loved pieces. Creating styles that feel fresh for many seasons and product that is built to last is an incredibly important part of the eco-conscious equation.
What if we each did just one thing to love this planet?
There is no such thing as perfectly sustainable. Sustainability is about focusing on our environmental impact and how we can continuously improve upon it. Most importantly, we can't do this alone. We each need to be working together to contribute towards sustainability, the ultimate form of planet love.