Read time: 4 mins        Added date: 26/02/2024

LØCI is a flourishing vegan footwear brand with A-list celebrity customers. The company, co-founded by CEO Emmanuel Eribo, is a beneficiary of the Channel 4 initiative in partnership with Lloyds Bank. Read his thoughts on combining style with purpose, and the journey so far.

Emmanuel Eribo, co-founder of LØCI

After working as an investment banker, Emmanuel was driven to sell something tangible where profit wasn’t the main motivation. His first foray into footwear was as co-founder and CEO of a global brand aimed at women. However, he realised there was a disconnect on several levels and he wanted to establish and grow a business with more to offer.

Joy, purpose and a passion for doing things differently resulted in LØCI coming to market in May 2021. The name comes from the Latin for ‘place’ and everyone involved wanted to bring to life a clear vision that made them feel at home.

Using certified recycled materials, LØCI’s ethical approach to men's and women’s footwear combines fashion, functionality and the feel-good factor. The business also donates 10% of its online profits to wildlife and conservation charities - Re:Wild, SEE Turtles, Mission Blue and Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. 

Building a business in public

Everyone in the business is proud and committed to doing things in an unconventional way. Emmanuel firmly believes in using a high-energy approach and self-belief to create great products and a unique story. This philosophy has seen them take great strides in a short space of time. While it’s an incredible story, Emmanuel considers the publicity to be a bit daunting. 

“When you first start and a lot of people hear about what you’re doing, they tend to write off your chances. Being an underdog is a great place to come from and to prove people wrong. As you do better and better, you start building the business more in public, so it’s nerve-racking, and there’s added pressure,” he says. 

LØCI shoe

Sustainability is never ending

Communicating LØCI’s sustainability progress is something else which needs to be done carefully and credibly. Emmanuel is well aware they’re only at the beginning of their journey. They’re open and honest about what they do and know there are always improvements that can be made along the way. Producing and shipping footwear worldwide will never be a completely sustainable business, but LØCI is determined to keep challenging themselves and finding new ways to be even better.

Striving to be more sustainable is one of many challenges for Emmanuel and his team. His philosophy is to expect every day to be tough but have fun finding ways to solve problems across every aspect of the business. While he’s not one to celebrate milestones, Emmanuel was delighted when they won the 2022 PETA Award for Best Vegan Shoes, particularly as they didn’t submit an entry. 

With 22 billion pairs of shoes going into landfill each year, LØCI is swimming valiantly against the tide. Each pair of trainers features 20 recycled plastic bottles as well as recycled bamboo, foam and rubber. All materials are ethically sourced, and they have an on-demand production system at their manufacturing site in Portugal to manage environmental impact, resulting in no unwanted footwear being discarded in landfill.

“We’re proud and blessed to have this opportunity with Channel 4. To have help growing in our home market is so important, and we’re super grateful. We’re going to enter so many homes via one of the most exciting and diverse channels in the UK. I grew up watching Channel 4, and this is an amazing chance to tell our story.”

Emmanuel Eribo — Co-founder/CEO, LØCI.

Footwear is just the first step

Vegan footwear is the foundation to build a bigger brand in the future. The next phase is to gain a deeper understanding of their audience and community to see what new products they’ll be receptive to. 

For Emmanuel, it’s not about bringing out lots of lines purely to increase LØCI’s bottom line. The questions he’s asking around new product development are more focused on how they can inspire more people through the brand’s story so far and make as much positive change in the world as possible. 

Taking LØCI’s story to a larger audience

As one of five chosen beneficiaries from over 1,000 applicants, the Channel 4 initiative in partnership with Lloyds Bank will open new doors for LØCI in the UK. While it’s making waves worldwide, Emmanuel feels excited about being given £100,000 worth of TV advertising.

Beneficiaries also get a six-month mentoring programme powered by DOES - a social enterprise that works with corporate partners to deliver business help to underprivileged communities. Despite building two successful footwear brands, Emmanuel knows there’s always more to take on board and is relishing the opportunity. 

“We try to stay humble. The most important thing is learning because we’re generalists. I’m looking forward to hearing from experts in marketing and TV to enrich my knowledge in these areas,” he concludes. 


Delivering game-changing advertising opportunities

Read more about the initiative and the other beneficiaries and what they hope to gain from the Black In Business initiative.

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