Della Terra Brand Makes Affordable, Eco-Friendly Vegan Fashion Shoes – Footwear News

After nearly two decades as a designer and in-house consultant for brands such as Via Spiga, Alice + Olivia and Diane von Furstenberg, Emily Landsman Archila launched her own brand, Della Terra Shoes, last spring to make eco-friendly footwear for the contemporary market. .

Now she’s getting help from seasoned retail veteran David Jassem, who joined as interim chief operating officer in November to help grow the wholesale business.

Jassem told FN that after he closed his Davids stores in Southern California in 2018, he and his wife got involved in climate change issues. He was therefore intrigued when an unexpected solicitation presented itself to him.

“I still had my old email and got an invite to watch Della Terra Shoes,” Jassem recalls. “I went to the website and was very impressed. They were durable shoes, but they were fashionable. So I reached out to congratulate Emily and offer my help.

Archila said Della Terra (Italian for “from the earth”) is committed to being both ethical and sustainable. “The main theme is transparency. We communicate about what we do and we are always going to do more,” she said.

Emily Landsman Archila, founder of Della Terra Shoes.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Della Terra Shoes

It starts with its product ingredients. Archila sources vegan leather and suede from Italy made from bamboo fibers blended with recycled and plant-based materials such as castor and grapeseed oil. “We haven’t used pure apple leather, cactus leather, or pineapple leather yet because it hasn’t passed our tests yet,” she said. “We are really rigorous [in our selection].”

At the same time, the brand focuses on ethical practices, producing with a factory in Brazil that Archila says is fair-wage and 100% carbon neutral. “We are all on the same mission where we want to figure out how to make this journey better every day. But we’re not asking to compromise on fashion in the meantime. If we do that, it’s too big a compromise to be effective,” she said.

The line currently includes fashionable sandals and heeled boots, and will add slippers, loafers and sneakers for fall. Prices range from $74 to $284.

Della Terra Vegan Leather Sandal

The Darya gladiator sandal is made with vegan leather and biodegradable rubber.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Della Terra Shoes

To grow the business, Jassem has developed a low-risk retail program that allows boutiques to test the collection with a guaranteed margin of 50%. “The sustainability aspect comes in where our model is to send unique pairs to retailers,” Jassem said. “We’ll fill one pair at a time at our expense and ship directly to your customer.”

Becca Porter, owner of An Unlikely Pear in Jacksonville, Fla., bought the brand at the Atlanta Shoe Market in February because it ticked several boxes for her. “I liked Emily and I liked the shoes. I even liked that they were priced a bit higher than what I usually wear,” said Porter, whose store features lines like Chinese Laundry. , Marc Fisher LTD and Matisse “I also liked that it was founded by a woman and that Emily came from an industry background so she knows what she’s doing. And sustainability was a huge It’s the way of the world now and it’s good to educate my customers.