#121 Show Notes | Disrupting Fashion through Sustainable & Attainable Footwear with Rommel Vega

What is Episode 121 all about?

Since you’re listening to this show, I can make a pretty educated guess that you try to choose sustainable options whenever possible. But I’ve bet you’ve experienced, as I have on countless occasions, that the most sustainable options are out of reach due to high prices or lack of availability. 

Let’s take shoes for example. We all need shoes and I personally require durable shoes that can withstand my outdoor lifestyle. When my hiking boots fell apart recently, I had to drop a pretty penny to replace my worn-out shoes, and I know for a fact that I didn’t select the most sustainable option because I couldn’t justify dishing out an extra $50-$100 on top of the already-expensive price tag. Additionally, the “green” boots didn’t seem to offer me any additional value other than feeling good for purchasing a pair of “sustainable” boots.   

So, is it possible to make shoes that are fashionable, affordable, and truly sustainable? Every once in a while, we meet innovators that are disrupting industries and challenging the status quo. Today’s guest not only designs fashionable outdoor shoes, but he’s also created a brand whose core value is doing the right thing for the planet and for communities of all income levels.

Today, I’m sitting down with Rommel Vega, CEO of HOLO Footwear. Rommel was born in Nicaragua and immigrated to the United States as a young child, growing up in the vibrant city of Miami, Florida. Rommel knew from an early age that he wanted to work in design, and spent his high school and college years studying the field. Through a series of internships, he discovered that he wanted to create shoes, which combined his passion for design and sports. He climbed the ladder at several well-known shoe brands, but knew he reached the limit of his impact and decided to co-found HOLO Footwear, an affordable, sustainable shoe brand.  

Rommel and I have such a fun time sharing our love of wine, his journey through design and when he decided to become a fashion shoe designer, his career at top shoe companies like Puma, Merrell, and Keen, why he and other visionaries decided to strike out on their own and create HOLO Footwear, how shoes are made, what makes HOLO’s shoes truly sustainable, the struggles of launching a startup, and his hopes for the future.

Alright, everyone. Please enjoy this conversation with Rommel.

Listen to this episode.

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Watch this episode on YouTube.

Rommel in the Field

Rommel’s Websites

HOLO Footwear

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