How did your journey in the fashion industry begin?
My journey in the fashion industry began recently when I founded Flabelus. I wanted to create a Spanish friulane – the shoes typically worn by gondoliers in Venice – but in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way. All of our materials are 100% vegan and we try to use recycled materials where possible. For example, the rubber soles of our shoes are made from recycled bike tyres. All of our slippers are handcrafted which I think makes the product even more special.
What’s your biggest business accomplishment so far?
Surviving a global pandemic as a small and relatively new business. I sold more than 3,000 pairs of shoes in less than three months and began four new collaborations with mid-size brands. We’re now present in more than 12 shops worldwide which is a huge achievement for us!
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your work?
To be patient and to always be open to learning. There is always a new lesson to be learned and there will always be something that needs to wait until the time is right and the product is perfect.
In your personal life, what do you do to be more eco-responsible?
I believe that small changes can make a big difference. I only eat organically produced food and I choose brands that I know are respectful to the environment. I always take reusable bags to the shops and try to minimize my water and electricity use at home. I don’t buy a lot of clothes but if I do I choose quality over quantity. I walk as much as I can to avoid cars and the tube.
What do you do to disconnect?
I go for a walk by myself, see friends (I’m pretty social), practice sports (especially tennis or boxing) or read a good book.
Your favourite place to be in nature?
Anywhere by the sea. I love to swim and just watch the ocean, it relaxes me a lot.
If you could share any advice to someone looking to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle?
Live slowly. Educate yourself. Use common sense. This is the key to success. By changing small but meaningful things you can make a big difference, even if you don’t notice it yourself. Switch to a reusable coffee cup and water bottle and walk instead of catching a cab. Buy less and buy better.
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