We have taken our name from the worldwide commitment to limit the global temperature rise to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. If you are interested in the 2°C statistic, you can read a bit more here.
Simple. We love them. They are reliable, take you anywhere and can last a lifetime. But the category has remained largely unchanged with a preppy image, declining quality and little innovation since 1935. We wanted better performing and more stylish boat shoes so we decided to make them ourselves.
We are aiming for delivery for the first batch of Kickstarter orders in November 2018 but exact timings will vary slight based on backer location.
If you have narrow feet, we would recommend that you consider dropping down a size from normal as our Two's fit very slightly larger than normal.
Not at the moment but, in the future, yes. In fact, we are already working on plans for a women’s range.
Portugal. When it comes to boat shoes, the Portuguese are now considered the best in the world. In fact, many luxury footwear brands we have spoken to on our journey are actually trying to move their manufacturing from Italy to Portugal at the moment.
Very carefully. In fact, where most shoes companies spend a few weeks working with an agent at arm’s length, we spent the best part of a year assessing manufacturers and suppliers, visiting premises and ensuring they meet our stringent criteria around quality, environmental management and ethical business practices.
With great care. In short, we know our suppliers very well and trust them. We have carefully vetted each of them, understand their processes in detail and regularly work with them on the ground.Our supply chain is all based in Portugal. This is both to reduce our environmental impact and also to ensure that we can have appropriate oversight of our supply chain with frequent site visits.
In short, no. It requires a bit of explaining so read on!
Animal agriculture, driven by the meat industry, is certainly a leading cause of deforestation in less developed countries. The waste product of this meat industry is leather. So, until people stop eating meat, leather will continue to be a waste product that can either be used or go straight to landfill.
We have extensively tested the latest synthetic and eco-materials, and none of them currently match up to leather in terms of performance (chiefly breathability, durability and comfort). Given that current synthetics and microfibres are generally made of plastic and perform poorly whilst leather is a readily available waste product that performs exceptionally well we are very comfortable in using leather.
However, because of the impact of the farming practices in less developed countries, we only source our leather from European farms (primarily in Germany and Spain) that practice sustainable grazing.
Note: In the future, lab grown leather might well be what we use as meat consumption (and therefore available waste leather) reduces. We are closely keeping track of developments in this space.
Tanning has historically been a high polluting industry and continues to be so in many countries. From the start, we knew that if we were going to use leather, we would have to solve this issue. Luckily, we have.
Our leather is tanned using an innovative bio-tanning process which is heavy metal free (including chromium). This is very rare in the industry and comes at a cost (our own margin) but we couldn’t consider using harmful heavy metals.
We have partnered with the pioneers in bio-tanning, Curtumes Aveneda, to bring our leathers to life in an environmentally responsible way. The team at Aveneda make it their mission to minimise their impact on the environment.
As you would expect, land prices vary depending on market conditions. However, we will always absorb price increases within our own margin and have vowed never to pass land cost increases on to our customers.
We work with World Land Trust to help protect threatened areas of habitat through select WLT projects where we can make the biggest impact. WLT’s priority is always to work with in-country partners who work with their local communities to ensure that they benefit from the protected area and that it becomes self-sustaining. This could be via tourism or education on more sustainable management practices.
Our belief is that you need to protect habitat in order to have the knock-on effect of protecting multiple species facing extinction due to wider habitat loss.
There is a growing problem with charities targeting single animals such as pandas and elephants, which people find 'cute' for anthropomorphic reasons, and therefore give money to. This means that many animals facing extinction are not being protected due to the skewed allocation of funds. For example, some 60% of funds go towards just 80 of the 1,2000 threatened mammals in the world; so more than half is going to less than 10%.
We believe that by protecting habitat we are going to the root of the problem - habitat loss – which in turn helps to protect many endangered species.
We have chosen to work with WLT because of their exceptional track record, experienced team and long-standing relationships with on-the-ground organisations in the habitats they protect. Another critical element is their transparency. We have worked with them from day 1 and have built a strong relationship built on trust and a shared belief in our Feet for Feet model.
Habitat protection, rather than just sponsorship of threatened species, is at the heart of all the World Land Trust’s activities. They take major long-term action to save tropical forests and other important wildlife areas by funding the purchase of threatened habitats. In fact, the WLT was the first organisation in Britain to ‘buy’ rainforests and has achieved remarkable success over the years.
Sir David Attenborough, patron of WLT, commented: “The money that is given to the World Land Trust, in my estimation, has more effect on the wild world than almost anything I can think of."
Through our Feet for Feet model you will help transform an area of endangered habitat into a nature reserve which is both owned and managed by local organisations.
The land we protect through Feet for Feet is real land in real places but you do not actually own 1,000 square feet of habitat. The land is always owned and managed by the World Land Trust’s local partners in the specific region/country.
Ecuador (The Ecuador Forests), Mexico (Sierra Gorda) and Argentina (Yungas Forest).
Of course. We work closely with the World Land Trust to ensure all funds raised through our Feet for Feet model are split between projects in Mexico, Ecuador and Argentina. The WLT is completely open about its finances and, unlike many other charities, publishes summaries of its finances on its website, so all its financial activity is transparent and can easily be tracked.
The WLT works with local partner organisations on the ground with whom a Memorandum of Understanding is signed and a work programme agreed. Ownership of the land purchased is with this partner organisation, not WLT.
WLT raises funds for, and works together with, the local organisation who oversees the project and works with the local community to achieve the conservation goals. Support from local government is also a top priority. Local people are employed as park wardens and, where possible, local scientists are used to carry out research at the project sites.
Our vision is to protect 25 million square feet of endangered habitat by 2020 which is 25,000 pairs of shoes sold. Our initial allocation will be used to protect habitat in Argentina, Ecuador and Mexico but our long-term vision is to protect a range of different habitats (not just rainforests).
Two Degrees is a for-profit company with protecting habitat at our core. The only way we can continue to protect habitat in a sustainable way is by creating our own donation model – making great products that people are willing to pay us for! This in turn protects habitat through our Feet for Feet model.
We do. Ping us an email with your CV and briefly outline how you think you might be able to help. Our office is still on Luke’s kitchen table but there is an exciting journey ahead of us and we are always looking for great people (being a nature nerd is not a requirement!)
We do! We are currently looking to add a few more Brand Ambassadors to the team. Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.