They call it "the sneaker revolution". And indeed, the idea of Dong Seon Lee and Giuliana Borzillo has something absolutely visionary. From the passion for fashion and design, it was born LAB ID, the startup the pair launched with ID.EIGHT, a brand of eco-sustainable and cruelty free shoes. These are sneakers made in Italy with low environmental impact materials from food industry waste such as apple and grape peels, pineapple leaves, recycled cotton and polyester.
ID LAB, fashion regenerates itself
«The textile industry is the second most polluting in the world, which is why we have decided to make a concrete contribution to the evolution of the sector towards greater responsibility. In our opinion, the future is made of sustainability and innovation »- confirms Giuliana Borzillo. This is the motivation that led ID LAB to enter the digital community Experience the Future of the Festival of the Future. «It is essential to network with other startuppers. An opportunity like this is precious »adds the entrepreneur.
But how are sneakers with a green heart born? Dong and Giuliana met for the first time in 2017 at a fair. He, who graduated in fashion in Seoul and came to Italy with a scholarship, she with university studies in Naples and a master's degree from Polimoda in Florence. After some time, the passion for footwear and an ecological worldview pushes them to take the big step: to create their own eco-sustainable brand with a refined design. «ID.EIGHT fully expresses our personality. In fact, ID stands for "identity" and "eight" for infinity, embodying the number 8, therefore the ability to regenerate and be, in fact, eco-sustainable ", explains Dong.
To finance the project, last April, they knocked on the doors of Kickstarter, the famous crowdfunding site, launching a fundraiser to support the startup. Now the prototypes are in production and the shoes are on sale in the online store, with two unisex models.
Made in Italy design
«The materials used are mainly three types of leatherette deriving from by-products of agricultural or industrial activities that process fruit - explains Giuliana -: pineapple leatherette, made with the waste leaves of the pineapple grown in the Philippines; leatherette of wine and leatherette of apples which are obtained respectively from the bio-polymerization of the marc and of the inedible parts of apples in Italy ».
Moreover, every year, the pineapple industry produces about 40,000 tons of leaves which, being considered a waste material, are left to rot or burn, while over 7 million tons of marc are discarded from the wine sector. A reality that is no longer acceptable. "It is a common duty to work for a greener and more aware future. And sustainability - the startuppers conclude - is a great ally of innovation ».