A Conversation With Air Vegan
Daniel Navetta, aka The Air Vegan is Queen's man wearing many hats. He has built a more than impressive resume as co-founder and director for film studio Bryght Young Things, co-creator of the Business of Hype podcast and full-time advocate for responsibility and "sustainability" in fashion and footwear through his platforms The AIR VEGAN and FutureVVorld. Dan focuses much of his time researching and educating on ways government, businesses and consumers can be more earth friendly in their activities has developed unique POV and inspired audience through creative design and storytelling. @theairvegan // @futurevvorld // @byt.nyc Besides using more recycled materials or reducing the shoebox footprint (Air Hippie single box), what are your 5 things brands are doing to become more sustainable that you think are really great?
This is a tricky question because of the term "sustainable". Put bluntly, the only way to be sustainable is to cease to exist. We have enough stuff. Period. If we look at how production is run, how the industry treats workers, how the brands promote mass consumption, nothing about this is truly sustainable.
However, I'm still excited about the space and there are things I think brands can do to be better such as:
Using more scrap materials for products. Increase transparency into how brands are carbon scoring and make stronger commitments. Invest more into lab grown materials (biofabrication) Simpler construction. The Nike Presto was made to be one piece of fabric and use less glue. Considering how the product returns to the earth. Make product that is repairable and then biodegradable.
High consumption is obviously a big issue in sneaker culture. Besides limiting purchases, what are five things sneaker enthusiasts can do to be more responsible in their day-to-day lives?
Shop local - This encompasses the localization of production, fair wages, more care and reduces carbon emissions from shipping. We’re in this vicious cycle of making things cheaply overseas and then we ship it a million times until it gets to the customer. I’d rather pay $250 to know this was made locally by someone who got a lunch break and who’s family has health insurance and it wasn’t shipped all over the world to get to me. Consider repairing and mending. Extending the life of our products is very important. Celebrate worn sneakers. Stop buying new things every week. Enjoy using what you have. Im trying to make it cool to own less shit. Donate gently used pairs with clear intentions of where they are going, and to whom. Use your digital platform to amplify environmental responsible and equitable practices in sneakers. Our social media platforms are a place where we can inspire others- let’s talk about workers rights, fair wages, materials transparency, and conscious consumption. Let’s make that hypeworthy.
We just released a great post on FutureVVorld about recycling clothing that also touches on these things that I think many will be into.
Between your full time job at BYT, Air Vegan, FutureVVorld and all your other creative endeavours, it’s hard to understand how you even find time to sleep! What are 5 tips on time management and organization that you can share?
I believe in focused bursts of energy. If I need twenty minutes to finish something, it's phone down, music on, avoid distractions and get it done. I wake up very early. I crush my to-do list as early as possible. Harness momentum, if you’re feeling it, run with it. Theres a great book called FLOW by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi that's all about being in the zone that I recommend. Exercise and eat healthy. Those two things make me very focused. I want to get my work done so I can go for a run. Of all of it, sobriety is probably the most essential element.
With the continued growth of podcasts and the emergence of social audio apps like clubhouse, audio content seems like it’s here to stay. Being the co-creator of the podcast series “Business of HYPE” for Hypebeast; what are 5 keys/pillars you see to building a successful audio-content platform? Interesting stories. This is obviously important. Respect the listener. Keep asking yourself "can this be more dynamic? " Channel people’s imaginations and initiate a spark for people. Consistency. Don't stop working.
You’re the Founder & Director of Bryght Young Things and have worked with a number of high profile clients. Looking back at your journey as a creative, and knowing what you know now, what are 5 pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self or a young creative today? Reach out to someone who you want to shadow. Work harder than you think you need to. Be honest at all times. Treat everyone with the same level of respect, regardless of position, experience, etc.. Don’t expect people to unlock your creativity for you, show them as early as possible and as often as possible. Create beyond the clients, it will inform the journey.