Leaving a Footprint on the Business World

Flamingos' Life

12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action 14. Life Below Water 15. Life on Land 17. Partnerships for the Goals

Overview

Flamingos' Life bases its business model on the principle of a circular economy. They want to give back to the world what has been taken from it in the first place, thus contributing their bit to keep the world alive.

Flamingos' Life allocates part of the profits obtained from the sale of shoes to several environmental and social causes. With each sale of a pair of shoes, Flamingos’ contributes to a different cause, depending on which collection the shoes belong to. These causes are mainly reforestation,, cleaning and restoration of oceans, helping people who have less and preventing animal abuse.

In addition, Carlos told us that this year, Flamingos’ aims to start using 100% recycled plastic.

Authors

Leticia Lizarraga

Leticia Lizarraga

Marina Redondo

Marina Redondo

Sofía Jiménez

Sofía Jiménez

Natasha Belen

Natasha Belen

School

Universidad de Navarra

Universidad de Navarra

Professor

Isabel Rodriguez Tejedo

Isabel Rodriguez Tejedo

Innovation

The company proposes an innovation in terms of "bringing something of value to the world" but ... how? One phrase that could be considered as a motto of theirs is "inspire others to action." Flamingos' Life is motivated to fight against the environmental problems that the planet is facing, Carlos told us. To this end, the company produces most of its shoes with 100% recycled materials, in addition to its commitment to supporting environmental causes.

Carlos, during the telephone interview, described how the company arose from a simple idea. The idea was to sell sandals at low prices through a Facebook portal to provide additional source of income while studying sociology in Granada. But something was missing, and Carlos knew it. That business model were not enough, so he decided to go a step further, take it to another level and find a greater motivation to keep creating. The motivation for Flamingos’ he found was "contributing its bit to the world":

"We started making sandals without any substance, history or anything. They were cheap sandals that we sold through Facebook and that's it, but I did not feel comfortable doing that and I found what I was comfortable with, you know? With doing more than making money, making a living, but contributing, like, my bit to the world." –Carlos García (CEO of Flamingos' Life)

Leaving a Footprint on the Business World

Leaving a Footprint on the Business World

Inspiration

As we have commented before, Carlos is the CEO of Flamingos' Life. He founded the company with his father, his brother and a friend. Everything was part of a family business, but this family has grown over time and become Flamingos' Life. Despite the expansion and growth of this family, its original objective to contribute a bit to the world, to keep it alive, is still present in each shoe collection. This mission has four fronts: reforestation, cleaning of the oceans, help those who have less, and avoiding animal abuse. Flamingos’ allocates funds from different shoe collections to different fronts.

Overall impact

Regarding the restoration of forests, Flamingos' Life collaborates with Eden Reforestation, a Californian NGO. Through this alliance, they committed to planting two trees for each pair of shoes Flamingos' Life sells. Flamingos' Life and its customers have made possible the planting of 103,188 trees.

For the cleaning and care of oceans, Flamingos innovates in service of the sea, designing and manufacturing shoes from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Flamingo’s life recycles two plastic bottles with every pair of shoes, totalling 2,310 recycled bottles so far.

Manufacturing shoes from recycled plastic greatly reduces the pollution involved im making the product. Leftover materials are reused or donated so that hardly any waste is produced. This means less pollution compared to a normal factory and provides immediate help to the neediest, achieving a social mission as well.

In addition, Flamingos’ has a collaboration with the organization Waste Free Oceans, whose mission is to clean up the waste deposited in the ocean. As mentioned before, Flamingos' Life also has very much those who have less.

Flamingos makes annual donations of shoes to those who are most disadvantaged, for whom a pair of shoes might be viewed as a luxury. Unsold shoes are donated to different organizations such as Plaes, Teadir Aragón or Médicos sin Fronteras. In the long run, this opens the door to colaborating on larger projects.

Flamingos also cares about the wellbeing of animals. Unlike other companies, they do not use animal parts to manufacture shoes. For this, Flamingos’ Life has obtained the seal of Vegan Approved from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Business benefit

In addition to the great social and environmental work that Flamingos' Life is doing, the company is profitable. As Carlos told us during the interview, at the end of 2017 they were about to reach a million euros in turnover. Observing the figures, and their growth and popularity in social media, we saw that Flamingos' Life is a company that shows continuous and responsible progress, with the possibility of continuing to expand its business and its causes.

Carlos said that, although the profit margin is not very high, these social and environmental commitments have many positive effects. For example, they have given Flamingos’ life a great brand image. More and more buyers are taking brands’ environmental and social impacts into account when they make decisions about what to buy.

By making donations and participating in charitable causes, Flamingos’ has generated a strong and sincere bond with the associations that it has helped. This link makes possible the different projects that the company carries out. In addition, these ties give Flamingos the opportunity to embark on larger projects with allies and trusted people to carry them out.

Social and environmental benefit

As shown on its website, Flamingos' Life has achieved to date:

  • 103,188 trees planted
  • 3,296 hours of work generated
  • Oxygen for 4,690 people per day
  • 2,310 recycled bottles

It has made its impact felt in places like Madagascar, the United States, Spain, Central America, Russia and parts of Asia, where it has sponsored various projects.

Interview

Carlos García Sánchez, Leticia Lizarraga

Photo of interviewee

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Flamingos' Life

Flamingos' Life

Elche, Alicante, Comunidad Valenciana, ES

Business Website: www.flamingoslife.com

Year Founded: 2015

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Flamingos' Life allocates part of the income generated through the sale of shoes to different projects, which are primarily related to climate change, the environment and those people most in need. They just want to make a mark and give back to the earth. Their aim is to leave a footprint on the world, and make a change!