With investors like Leonardo DiCaprio, the vegan sneaker brand is making waves by saving ocean creatures. Called LØCI (pronounced “low key”), the British company makes hip, sustainable sneakers worn by the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. According to CEO and co-founder Emmanuel Eribo, “We are here to change things. That’s why for us it’s always important to think differently, to swim against the current.” Part of the brand’s success and international attention has come after bringing Leonardo DiCaprio onboard with a 4.5 million EUR investment. The actor shared his excitement about the company, stating, “I am proud to be an investor in LØCI, a brand dedicated to minimizing its environmental impact and focused on creating ethical and cruelty-free footwear”.
With DiCaprio’s push, these vegan sneakers made in Portugal and priced at 165 EUR will undoubtedly have a wider reach. According to Eribo, for most consumer brands today, success is measured by sales and popularity. Their differentiation comes from impact and consistency: they manufacture their products in Europe, with monthly rather than seasonal production cycles, paying a premium for certified eco-friendly materials. In addition, they donate 10% of profits to wildlife conservation charities. He recounts that, to date, more than 982,000 plastic bottles have been removed, destined for land and sea, which are used in a durable premium material to sew their vegan sneakers. Their profit-sharing model has enabled organizations like See Turtles to save 100,780 new hatchlings.
“LØCI comes from the Latin word Locus, which means the beginnings. We feel that everyone is tied to nature and feels most at home when they return to it, so we wanted the name to reflect just that”, Eribo explained about the christening of a very small firm, where only eight people work yet they have managed to reach 26 markets. Besides JLo and Ben Affleck, their shoes have been seen on Mila Kunis, Jessica Alba, and Eva Longoria. Despite their worldwide reach, the sneakers are manufactured in the city of Porto. “We are 100% vegan and do not use leather or any animal-derived products”, explains Eribo, completely detached from trends and fashion even though, paradoxically, his sneakers are already shod by the most VIP footprints. “We don’t stick to calendars or seasons. The intention is to combine with the entire closet so that they can be worn all year round with any outfit.”
Each pair is unisex. “Production is scaled up or down in relation to demand managed in a sustainable way to protect the environment. They use recycled marine plastics, as well as renewable and biodegradable materials whenever possible: “Combining elegance with the ecological aspect”. Also from a market need detected especially since the pandemic. “Society is starting to pay more attention to what they wear and where they buy it.” They believe that in this greenwashing movement there is some deception and that is why consumers are interested in knowing the origins of brands and why they should use them and support their causes. “Thanks to platforms like Instagram, it’s hard to hide the truth. Authenticity is key to telling your story.” Thankfully, LØCI is not just talking the talk, but they are walking the walk as well. Consumers, including big-name celebrities, can tell the difference.