If there’s two sisters who have been at the top of the fashion game for almost a decade, it’s Jess and Stef Dadon, creative directors, entrepreneurs and designers behind Australian shoe brand, TWOOBS.

But, like many entrepreneurs, their success hasn’t come without hard work. The pair first launched How To Live in 2012, a daily diary that has since grown into a global platform with a tribe of loyal fans. In 2016, the duo decided to create TWOOBS, a line of comfortable, fashion-forward and animal-friendly sandals. Their brand has been hugely successful and is known to regularly sell out. Not only that, but the brand is shaking up the shoe industry with its focus on sustainability – but more about that soon.

With the disruption caused by COVID-19, Jess and Stef were able to slow down, catch their breath and reassess their lives and business. With this downtime, came their new collection tagline, “a KINDA footwear brand” – they say they’re a kinda footwear brand, but kinda not really. After not agreeing with the way most shoes were being created, they decided to create something kinder. You still following?

TWOOBS has shifted their focus on kindness and purpose before profitability – something being welcomed in the fashion industry right now. But you might be wondering HOW is that even possible? Well, they’re being sustainable in the truest sense of the word while still balancing being a commercially viable business. Afterall, businesses need to make money!

“Doing things in the way that they’ve always been done, you are never going to change. But for us, because we are dreamers and we have that drive to achieve what whatever we put our minds to, we focus on purpose first and then we say how are we going to make that into profit. So, first for us is purpose and then the how and the why.” – Stef Dadon

So, how did TWOOBS implement sustainable changes during COVID?

  • They adopted a ‘sense of urgency’ approach on what they could implement immediately.
  • Their shoe uppers are made using 88% recycled Lycra made from plastics and yarns.
  • They implemented a “Take Back Program” – customers simply send back their pair at the end of their life cycle and receive a $10 voucher towards a new pair of shoes.
  • TWOOBS partnered with a business that will recycle the shoes into playground mats.
  • They implemented carbon offset practices from raw materials to customer delivery with a company that contributes to reforestation projects.

Maybe you’re thinking of starting your own fashion business or want to change direction and reassess your brand values. This golden nugget of a podcast episode really got to the nitty gritty on how Jess & Stef changed their business practice and how you can apply it to your own business.

Here are their top tips:

  • Ask yourself questions on how you can change by thinking creatively and differently.
  • Invest in professionals to help you and choose ones that will hold you accountable to achieve your objectives.
  • In the beginning, say yes to everything!
  • Build your email database and focus on retargeting through digital marketing.
  • Be open to collaborations and partnerships – they are also key to growing your business and they give you credibility and exposure!
  • Work out what your focus is – you can’t be everything to everyone.
  • Define your OWN success and what out what that means to you. Your answer = the true secret to happiness!

“We’re DREAMERS and we need to be dreamers in order to INNOVATE and in order to change things. I used to view this as a flaw, but I don’t view it as a flaw anymore” – Jess Dadon

To listen to the full chat with Jess & Stef Dadon from TWOOBS, head to Fashion.Business.Mindset. The podcast is available now on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Deezer and Google Play!