Designer Spotlight: Brooklyn Bandit
We sat down with Linda Andric founder of another one of our most responsible and transparent brands, Brooklyn Bandit, to discuss all things sustainability.
Brooklyn Bandit is a women’s luxury footwear brand with collections designed in Brooklyn, NY, and brought to life by European manufacturing ateliers. The brand offers ethically handmade pieces in small batches that are inspired by classic silhouettes and infused with a dose of Brooklyn street style, resulting in a blend of contemporary trends and designs that exude timeless elegance. The result is an assortment of high-quality footwear pieces, purposefully designed and ethically made for you to enjoy this season and beyond.
What does sustainability mean to you and how do you practice it in your everyday life?
Sustainability to me means being mindful and respectful of all resources. I aim to live my life slowly and mindfully, using only what I need, reducing waste and wastefulness wherever possible. Throughout the years, I have made the biggest changes when it comes to my wardrobe and how I shop. Working in the fashion industry for so long, I was always surrounded by beautiful products and had access to sample sales and discount shopping. This combined with my love for fashion led to me having a big wardrobe filled with pieces that I would rarely wear. My mindset started to shift a few years ago when I did a closet deep-dive because I realised that, even though I had this diverse wardrobe, I always would end up wearing the same few items. Now, I have a small, curated wardrobe with well-loved, high-quality pieces and it’s wonderful. About half of my closet consists of vintage or secondhand items. I always consider buying vintage first, especially when looking to add more “fun” or seasonal items like a silk tea dress or a woollen suit. I get immense joy from my wardrobe and love that each piece has a story and a function. I carefully consider material, make and fit to determine if an item is right for me. I especially love natural materials and items that are handcrafted by skilled artisans from around the world.
We know that you donate 1% of your proceeds, what made you choose to give back to the dog shelters?
My husband and I are big animal lovers, and we frequently donate to dog shelters and other animal organizations. I wanted Brooklyn Bandit to be aligned with my personal values, so giving back is formally built into the company’s operating agreement. We also have a family dog, a very cute and wickedly smart Shiba Inu, who is a big part of Brooklyn Bandit. He’s our self-proclaimed head of QC and is very proficient at his job – many shoes don’t survive his rigorous quality check process. We’re hoping that our donations help more dogs find their human families, where they can be loved and live happy lives. I have big ambitions in the field of giving back. Exciting new initiatives will be rolled out as Brooklyn Bandit continues to scale.
We fell in love with your brand because you’re very selective in your choice of materials and where you get them from. Take us through your vetting process on where you get your materials and components from?
Thank you! We love Cult Mia for similar reasons; we like your product curation and are so excited about all the sustainability-focused initiatives that you are working on behind the scenes.
Sustainability is at the core of Brooklyn Bandit’s DNA and is woven into every step of the product creation process, including material sourcing. All our leathers are selected from top-rated European tanneries, which adhere to strict environmental standards and exclusively use hides that are a byproduct of the meat industry. Our shoes are entirely made from leather, so the upper, lining, and outsole are leather, which is the formula most European luxury footwear brands follow. We love to work with Nappa especially because it is so soft and luxurious and requires no breaking in. All our components, like buckles and zippers, are sourced close to our factory base in order to reduce unnecessary emissions from shipping.
Have you visited the ateliers where your production takes place and would you say you have formed a connection with your production community?
Absolutely, we have visited the ateliers that we currently produce with on several occasions and have built a close relationship with them. These are small family-owned factories, so we have gotten to know the families behind the businesses and have become invested in their success and in ours. We also have a great team on the ground in Portugal who I fully trust, and who help support our ateliers while they work on bringing our products to life. I have visited many footwear factories throughout my career, located all around the world – and the ateliers that we work with are some of the best that I have come across. They not only have the expertise when it comes to crafting luxury footwear, but they are truly passionate about their work, and it shows.