Achieving A Transparent And Circular Business Model With Repairable Footwear

Stefan Mathys Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Experienced footwear designer Stefan Mathys, and now co-founder of repairable footwear brand VYN, joined us to give insight into how footwear design and production costs work in reality for mid-range fashion footwear brands. He gives thoughts on how a footwear brand or line could be implemented to consider the full life cycle of materials and product, how to engage customers with repair practices, and the ways in which fast fashion brands could adhere to similar systemic design shifts. This is a longline 40 minute interview that dives deep in to many questions, and will leave you feeling inspired and motivated, as well as better equipped in knowledge when it comes to repair models.

In this lesson you will learn:

  • Margins and financial considerations in footwear design
  • Considerations for designing with circularity and transparency in mind
  • How to limit the wear and tear of footwear through understanding use and good design
  • How to manage accountability and responsibility in order to make a viable repair model
  • How to engage customers with a repair model

Login to view this lesson. Not a Professional Member of The Sustainable Fashion Collective?

Find out more here or, click to enjoy our free articles before upgrading

Read Next

  • Alternative repair methods: Visible mending and the beauty of the broken

    with Tom Van Deijnan

    In the past few years, 'visible mending' has taken off as a craft in its own right, with workshops teaching the technique popping up everywhere, from our favourite retail stores to museums and galleries. Tom van Deijnen, who is better known as Tom of Holland, has been repairing clothes all his life and understands this beautiful, but also highly practical craft better than most.

    In this Q&A with the textile artist and visible mending expert, we hear Tom's take on how repairing in this way can encourage greater connections with our clothing and discourage throwaway culture in an era of Fast Fashion.

  • Design For X Methodologies

    with Stephanie Steele

    Our current system of production sees a linear model, where we design-create-use-dispose. In a circular model, we ask designers, producers, and users to come together to collaborate and engage in order to extend the life of the product. If we continue to produce at the rate we are now - clothing production doubled in the last 15 years, and in that also consume double - then we are going to be left without resources, and without a landscape that we can subsist from.

    The Design for X (Design for Excellence or DFX) methodologies were coined by product designers (white goods, electronics and automotive sectors primarily) where legislative demand necessitated waste minimisation. Taking these strategies into the fashion sector not only reduces the amount of virgin materials we use but also increases our engagement with the product making it a so-called emotionally durable design.

    In this Technical Tutorial, we look at what the strategies are, some simple ways of implementing them and case studies for how they already work.

  • ReLondon: Developing Circularity In Urban Environments

    with Lamia Sbiti

    Lamia Sbiti, Senior Business Advisor for the Circular Economy of project Advance London - now known as reLondon - as part of the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) joined us to explain how the project aims to develop circularity for the city in collaboration with SMEs. Why is circular design important for cities, and what are the benefits to businesses? How can they gain advice and investment for their idea? 

  • Introduction to the Circular Economy

    with Josie Warden

    This is a 33 minute Lesson from Josie Warden, Head of Regenerative Design at the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Josies introduces the principles of the circular economy and why, as designers, we should be engaging with its values.

  • MUD Jeans: Designing Denim For Circularity

    with Laura Vicaria

    MUD Jeans are a denim brand that design for circularity. In this 30-minute interview, CSR Manager Laura Vicaria takes us through the design elements and business strategies that make MUD's products have a low environmental impact, while being stylish and well-fitting. MUD Jeans are B Corp certified, have PETA Vegan Approval and educate on circular living in order to increase transparency in a complex yet close-knit industry.

  • Rifò Lab: Circular-Fibre Fashion Made in Italy

    with Niccolò Cipriani

    This is a 15 minute Lesson with Niccolò Cipriani, founder of Italian circular clothing brand Rifò Lab, about how his company is transforming waste cashmere and cotton into stylish collections, and the potential of upcycling for improving fashion’s impact on the planet.

    In the world-famous textile district of the Italian city Prato, the technology for upcycling waste fabrics has been in existence for over a century. Developed as a cost-saving method for economical clothing production this method is now being implemented by Rifò Lab (Rifo = “I remake”) for their sustainably-minded fashion lines.

  • 3D Printing For Footwear And Marketing A Niche Product

    with Philippe Holthuizen

    In this 15 minute lesson, designer and maker Philippe Holthuizen gives his insight on how 3D printing can work for footwear, particularly within a sustainable setting. His brand FUSED Footwear offers super cool sneakers all printed with his own tinkered with 3D printer, all of which can also be returned and recycled. Philippe provides honest advice on launching and growing a business that offers a niche product, including what you should consider when it comes to scaling, pricing, finding your audience and how to grow as a creative business person.

  • Managing the Higher Cost of Manufacturing Locally

    with Charlie Bradley Ross

    Is it really cheaper to manufacture overseas? Often, companies jump into 'cheap' manufacturing overseas, without considering the myriad of hidden costs, and the difficulties this may pose to quality assurance. Here, we discuss the various benefits of reshoring your production in regards to price and quality control.