Responsibility is defining who we are

In everyday life we like to laugh, a lot and about pretty much everything. But when it comes to Nomasei’s values, we become very serious in our determination to build something meaningful and generate a positive impact.

We created Nomasei to renew with the essence of our profession. We took a leap of faith, abandoned the security of our titles in famous luxury houses to conceive a responsible and sustainable alternative.

Here, we want to share with you in full transparency the values, objectives and commitments that guide us on a daily basis to build the Nomasei ecosystem and brand.

We rely on 5 pillars.

 

Paule and Marine

PILLAR IA luxury and responsible product

Our reason to be is to offer a luxury product at a fair price, sustainable, with less impact possible on human and environment. To be able to achieve this goal, we gave shares of Nomasei to our shoe factory. It means, we control what we are producing and how we are producing it.

We work with self-restraint, quality and simplicity and our products have to reflect two key points: a sense of responsibility and sustainability. Design and commitment must go along.

Our factory

Montopoli

In the fashion industry, the manufacturing part is often the one that questions integrity the most.

For us, working with a manufacturer sharing our values was the only option. And because we are two perfectionists, we needed a factory also with great expertise.

Located in the village of Montopoli in Tuscany, our factory was founded 20 years ago by two friends and is today run by the founders’ 3 sons.

The way they work is already outstanding for many reasons:

  • Full transparency in the way they operate,
  • The use of clean materials such as solvent free glues,
  • The trust, equity and respect they demonstrate in their relationships with their employees,
  • The network of small family businesses they have built on shared values.

By the end of 2020 the factory will have improved its sustainable practices and working conditions thanks to :

1 / Water regulation of rainwater with a recovery system inside a dedicated underground container.

2 / Installations reducing energy consumption, in particular via the self-production of electricity (45Kw) equal to approximately 45% of the total need, thanks to the installation of photovoltaic panels on the roof (100 % of the area used), and the installation of a water cooling system in the production area.

3 / The use of recycled and ecologically efficient materials: the frames of the exterior structures will be made of fully recycled aluminum, and the artificial lights in the production area will be LED systems with minimal impact on energy consumption.

3D design of the new factory

Suppliers map

To be fully transparent, provide a fair price policy and respect our customers, we do not outsource any operation carried out on our shoes: everything – from cutting the leather to putting the shoe in the boxes – is done in Tuscany at a maximum distance of 55km from the factory.  As a result, we are creating a virtuous, resilient and more sustainable ecosystem. This proximity also allows us to encourage and support our partners on their environmental and human impact by fully integrating them into the project.

Our Packaging

Our packaging, like each of our components, has been selected following strict rules:

  • Our manufacturer is located 40km from the factory. It’s an old family business and each box is made by hand.
  • It is totally plastic free.
  • Our dust bags are in organic GOTS certified cotton.
  • Each box is made of recycled cardboard cups..
  • They contain few glues and inks which facilitates their recycling

Our materials

COTTON: Our cotton is organic GOTS certified.

LEATHER: Our leathers are chosen for their aesthetic and comfort qualities but most importantly because they meet ethical and sustainable requirements.

Strong of our 30 years combined experience and our commitment to create a product that lasts, our leathers are very qualitative and come from tanneries that we have personal relationships with.

Thus, we know where and how the animals (origin of the skin) have been raised, what processes have been used for tanning, and under what conditions these tanneries are managed.

All our leathers are Reach certified. Some tanneries, the larger structures are certified (Certification ecological leather, certification of leathers’ traceability…) or belong to the Leather Working Group.

Others, too small to afford to pay for certifications, are required to meet a series of criteria such as:

  • Do they know the country of origin of the skin? Can they prove it?
  • Do they have a chemical management system? Do they check and test the chemicals they buy?
  • Do they provide workers with proper training on how to use chemicals safely?

Vegetal leather, Metal free leather

Many things are said about “ethical” leathers and about vegetable tanned leather as being the most ethical solution because its tanning process uses vegetable tanins from plants.

It is true that vegetable tanned leather can be a more sustainable option, but it is not the only one. And it is not suitable for all products and especially for shoes, as it is dryer, thicker and more raw.

We, therefore, prefer the alternative of “Metal Free” leather. This means that no metal is used for tanning. No chromium 3, no chromium 6 or any other metal or chemical processes.

The downside of this option, like for vegetal leather, is that it uses more water. But, this water being much less polluted than with traditional tanning, the tanneries now manage to reuse it.

This is why it represents for us the best option so far, as much from an ecological point of view as for the flexibility, the depth of color and the softness metal free leather allows.

Why we don't use Vegan leather ?

Many people have asked us why we don’t use Vegan leather when we claim to be a sustainable brand.

For 3 main reasons:

  • Vegan leather is not a long-term sustainable alternative. In 90% of cases it is a material derived from plastic and petroleum, which makes it a synthetic material and one that does not age well over time. Even leathers made from pineapple fibers or apple fibers contain plastic in the form of micro-particules. Replacing leather with petroleum-based materials does not seem to us like an ecological solution.
  • We are well aware that leather is not perfect but there is also a reason why this material has been used for thousands of years to make long lasting qualitative products. Today it is still the most suitable material, at least for shoes, because beautiful leather improves over time and can last for decades.
  • Vegan leather is not suitable for shoes. A shoe needs to breathe because feet tend to sweat during the day. Vegan leather, being chemical and plastic-based, makes the foot sweat and ends up hurting. This is why leather, a natural material, remains the most suitable alternative.

Creative process

Going against the frenetic pace of “fast-fashion” that even the big houses have been following, we choose a slower pace. A pace that respects the constraints of our product and gives space to creativity.

This enables us to give each piece the attention and care it deserves.

 Our creative process works organically:

  • we work hand in hand with the manufacturer from the first sketches to understand the technical feasibility and thus optimize our time and efforts.
  • our product must have an utility and fulfill an aesthetic, qualitative and timeless durability.
  • we do not compromise between design and commitment. Design is the most important because our primary role is to make truly beautiful products. But above all, we must do it well and respecting our ethical commitments. If they cannot be met, then the project is postponed until we find the right way to do it. We ask ourselves questions such as: do I really need this model? Why should I develop this material rather than another? Doing less to do better and wasting less is the principle that guides us every day.
  • we take all the time necessary and do not rush anything. A shoe requires an average of 80 operations, from the wooden last to putting the shoes in boxes. The attention we pay to each stage of manufacturing is extreme and uncompromising.
  • we are our first customers and probably are the most demanding. As long as the product does not fully satisfy us, we continue working until it is perfect.

 

PILLAR IITransparency

We are committed to look constantly for improvement and innovation to be able to control and minimise our global impact. We are challenging constantly our processes, our partnerships and our business model to make of Nomasei, more than just a shoe brand, a global project.

All or our decisions, doubts, progresses are  shared internally with our collaborators and our consumers. And as much as possible, we will rely on tangible numbers and datas to achieve this commitment

Our carbon objectives

Reducing and controlling carbon emissions is THE main challenge in the face of/when facing global warming, and is therefore part of our commitment. But we strongly believe that compensation is only relevant if the business model is already sustainable and minimizes its impact from the onset. Compensating at all costs while remaining in a productivist model of expansion makes no sense to us.

Today: we can claim to be a Low Carbon company because we minimize our emissions as much as possible from the very beginning:

  • By producing locally: all our components are produced 55km around the factory and 90% of our raw materials come from Europe (Italy, France, Holland).
  • We adopt a frugal attitude. We only develop what we absolutely believe in. And we have a development philosophy which consists in creating only products that we are sure will last a long time.
  • We recycle our waste and we minimize our transport. We are in an economy of means all along the chain. “Less is more”.

 Tomorrow: We are today a low carbon company but we produce in Italy and ship worldwide, living in an open economy. Our carbon footprint is therefore real and we are searching by all means to compensate it.

Naively, we thought that we would be there in 6 months. But the importance of the subject is such that we cannot be satisfied with only putting a “carbon neutral” label on our shoes. We first need to find the most optimal solution for this compensation.

Our limits and objectives

Lifecycle

Our project beyond compensation is to be able to fully control the life cycle of our products.

The recycling of our shoes is not yet set up but we are actively looking for solutions, in collaboration with our manufacturer and a research laboratory, to achieve 100% recycling.

New materials

One of our obsessions is to eradicate the use of plastic from our components, and when it is not possible to at least use recycled plastic.

Until now, the sole of our model « hotel de la plage » was in plastic. After several researches, we replaced the sole of this model with a bio based plastic sole.

This new material is made up of 50% plastic “bio-based” (from renewable biomass sources such as corn starch, sugar cane, beet, cellulose and vegetable oils) and 50% plastic. This is a big improvement even though we are aware that we still have to find other solutions.

New recycled zippers

Until now our zips were plastic, but we found a new zipper that is made from recycled materials (post-consumer polyester and plastic bottles) via a chemical process, which facilitates their recycling in a second time.

This zip developed in Japan is now made in Italy, which allowed us to put it on our shoes. This represents a real step forward for us in terms of controlling the life cycle of our shoes.

Recyclable heel

The heels are always in ABS, which is a very resistant and malleable plastic resin but still today very difficult to recycle. We have just found  its equivalent with a much better manufacturing process. It requires 65% less electricity, has a carbon footprint 90% lower, and uses 99% less water.

PILLAR IIIReinvent the business

We are building Nomasei on a new philosophy of growth. As a company, it is a therefore natural to seek profitability but expansion at any costs is not in the fundamental values ​​of our company. It means we promote quality over quantity and that our values are guiding us.

A sustainable model

Sustainability, responsible practices have become marketing assets for many companies. But applying these terms to the existing model makes no sense. It is the existing business model that needs to be changed, from the base.

This is why we founded our ‘associates pact’ centred on the values ​​of sustainability, ethical and social commitment. All decisions made by the partners must respond to these prerogatives.

Nomasei was built differently since its genesis. We value our independence and remain a human-sized company. The small size makes our brand more agile and free to respond with commitment to each of the challenges we face.

Our desire is thus to grow sufficiently to preserve know-how and territories, to encourage initiatives with positive social impact and to participate in making this world a healthier place.

Our margins

Luxury fashion has never cost so much and yet the products are less qualitative. There was a time when buying a luxury product or a premium product meant that we would keep it for a long time. But that is no longer necessarily the case and we, as consumers, are lacking in qualitative alternatives.

To build a new system, we have an obsession: a fair price so that as many people as possible have access to our products.

For this,  most of our expenses are focused on the one thing that truly matters: the product. We work without compromise and especially when it comes to the quality of our materials.

Where our competitors multiply their prices exponentially, and make unreasonable margins, we decided to control ours. Particularly as only 15% of our budget is dedicated to communication while our competitors spend 80%.

Our online distribution model without intermediaries, from our factories to your closet, enables us to offer you the best value for money.

This is also the reason why we cannot practice a sales policy. Our prices and our margins do not allow us.

Our prices

Most importantly, we want to make transparency a supreme value by making sure that you understand what you are paying for when you buy a luxury product. This seems fair and honest to us, to you our customers and also to our suppliers.

All these commitments are shaping a system of values ​​that is to us a standard to be respected and a goal to be achieved, day after day.

We believe that balance, responsibility, humility are very sustainable behaviors.

PILLAR IVCompensate and generate a positive impact

We are conscious that we are participating in a very small level at this problem, by producing objects that we do not necessarily need. That is why, even the smallest impact should be offset positively by collaborating with associations and/or by donating a percentage of our proceeds.

1% for the planet

Following this rule we decided to work with the group 1% for the planet.

This NGO created by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, aims to develop a network of companies participating in this donation. By donating 1% of our annual turnover to this association, we are helping to finance concrete projects on the ground.

The associations are selected according to 6 criteria: climate, food, natural landscapes – like national parks, water, fauna and pollution.

They must meet one of these criteria.

This collaboration allows us to be part of a network of entrepreneurs who share the same values ​​and thus create virtuous and resilient ecosystems. And it demonstrates that you can be a successful business while being a philanthropist.

Towards a positive impact

PILLAR VIt's all about human

There is no environmental preservation without human fulfillment. The sense of sharing is at the heart of our concerns and is reflected in the very essence of the Nomasei project. We do not do anything alone and everyone’s work is valued as essential for the success of this project.

Our work should contribute to preserve our territory, community and « savoir-faire. Entire regions depend on luxury shoes making industry, as it is for Tuscany in Italy. We commit to not outsource our developments and production so as not to impoverish and remove works opportunities from these areas.

Nomasei, in Italian backward, means “Six Hands”. This name evokes the collective work and the consideration of each human being who participates in the creation of a pair of shoes.

It means that each creation is the result of a collaboration between several hands and complementary skills, gathered around an idea that becomes creation.

The founders

We met in 2016 when while working at Chloé. Our first day of work took place in a factory in Italy and we realized that we were sharing the same passion for the product and the craftsmanship, the work of the hand. This is what motivated us to reinvent our profession – being ourselves victims of the pace of collections, to restore a sense of meaning.

We share the same values ​​and commitments in our personal lives, so it was natural to root Nomasei on these pillars.

Our craftmen

The fashion industry tends to only showcase only the creative director; Nomasei’s philosophy is constructed in total opposition to this. On the contrary, we favor the sense of sharing and collective work, because it is from collaboration and exchange that the most beautiful ideas come to life.

The factory, which is our main partner, has around forty employees who are all proud of their profession and the know-how they preserve: Massimo, Francesco, Davide, Silvia, Laura, Andrea, Cinzia, Manola, Siliana, Monica, Lucia , Alessandro, Omar, Rosaria, Simone, Ivan, Sauro, Alessandro, Michele, Cornelia Iuliana, Simonetta, Monica, Francesco, Barbara, Lucia, Ornella, Alessandro, Massimo, Fiorella, Gina, Martina, Paola, Rita, Marco, Francesco, Francesca, Gessica, Luciano

Our collaborators

The product expertise is guaranteed by the founding team as well as our factory partner, but for all other questions, we build an ecosystem of experts who guide us and help us to make the best possible decisions. This implies being attentive to each stakeholder and offering an inclusive and free expression framework in which everyone’s creativity and vision can find its place. Because a happy and fulfilled team will be more committed in the change process that we want to set up.