June 2021

La Sportiva, outdoor innovation is also made with the rediscovery of natural materials and zero impact


La Sportiva is the Italian brand of outdoor clothing and accessories world that, consistent with its vocation to responsible innovation, has become a partner of Flocus™, including in its catalogue a range of products based on Flocus™ kapok, accompanied by a dedicated label.

Luca Mich, marketing and communication manager, tells us how La Sportiva, from its headquarters in Val di Fiemme, in the heart of the Dolomites, combines research on high-performance materials with respect for the natural environment and transmits it to outdoor sports enthusiasts.

1) La Sportiva is a family company that, generation after generation, has been able to predict the transformations of the market and innovate its products in a very dynamic sector. Your commitment to environmental compliance and the choice of sustainable materials is part of your DNA. What actions and projects have you undertaken in this field?

For La Sportiva being sustainable means collecting a legacy, that of the mountain environment that surrounds us, and that of the journey made so far, guided by research, quality, passion, people and innovation. Environmental sustainability is at the basis of these five company pillars, the fundamental driver that pushes us to look for low-impact solutions that are able to extend the life cycle of our products.
We are aware that a continuous daily improvement at all levels is needed, from raw materials research to packaging to shipments, but I would say that we have been working in the right direction for several years.

Speaking about our products, today more than 50% of the apparel collection uses recycled polyester yarn from end-of-life plastic bottles and the padding was conceived with the same logic, as well as the use of organic cotton and biodegradable and zero impact fibers.  

In the footwear sector our effort to go in this direction is remarkable: we have two climbing products in the collection made with recycled raw materials from the production cycle and this season we started to use waste materials also for the production of underfoota nd midsole in the running and approach models.

2) La Sportiva headquarter is located in a beautiful alpine area and promotes a relationship of respect and trust between people and the mountains. Your choice of using an eco-responsible fiber as Flocus™ kapok has an important positive environmental impact, since you show people that you can change habits, using natural materials with an excellent level of performance. How important is for La Sportiva this role of research and education towards eco-responsible materials?

Our mission of producing footwear and outdoor clothing, keeping us faithful to the values of a family business with almost a century of history which motivates us every day. Respect for the environment that surrounds us is part of our DNA, it is what we want to transfer through our products and daily concrete actions. Working in the green of our mountains in Val di Fiemme where you really feel sustainability on your skin and suffer every day the climate, could not let us act otherwise.

Transferring this vision to consumers is crucial. We try to do this with concrete actions, by including partners in this process with which we are in tune. Flocus™ is one of these and we are committed to communicating its features not only on catalogues or in-store but also through smart tools such as landing page and online contest about sustainability.

Recently, for example, we launched a competition based on a quiz on eco-sustainability to which consumers could only respond by reading our CSR document and searching for the correct information on landing pages and product sheets. A fun and rewarding way to talk about a topic that we really care about!

3) Who are your consumers? How much is the attention that a product gives to sustainable innovation in their choices?

It depends a lot on the markets. The United States, which is always ahead of us when it comes to consumer trends, is a strong example of how the consumer is demanding this kind of approach to brands. REI, one of the largest chains of outdoor sports stores in the world, declared a few years ago that will stop carrying brands that will not present collections with eco elements.

The markets of Northern Europe, Germany first of all, constantly require products and services that go in the direction of sustainability. A distorted market which wants the most virtuous and careful consumers to pay more for sustainability is, unfortunately, a great limitation.

The industry, for its part, has been asking for years that governments and custom regulations would favour products with eco components, so that the cost of increased research and the value of recycled raw materials would not fall on the final consumer.

4) How can a 100% natural material such as Flocus™ kapok, with high levels of performance and zero environmental impact, add value to your products and help you achieve your sustainability mission?

The offer of Flocus™ fits perfectly into the company strategy and the desire to pursue technological innovation without ever leaving aside the theme of sustainability.

Being sustainable, performing and innovative is the company’s goal and every product branded LaSportiva. In addition to the passion that distinguishes us with our know-how as an artisan company we are always committed to solving the problem, to find a solution for the consumer, in an incremental prospective.

Flocus™ is with us on this journey.