Sustainability has become a bit of a buzzword in recent times, rendering its meaning increasingly difficult to discern. More and more brands are touting themselves as sustainable, but total transparency is hard to come by and evidence of any real action is rare. Needless to say, frustration is rife within the fashion industry - which is why it is so refreshing to encounter labels championing sustainability beyond a simple mission statement. Enter Dalgado: founded only last year by brothers René and Jan Jülicher, the Düsseldorf-based leather accessories brand has already made a name for itself as a leader in sustainable luxury. It prides itself on its exclusive sourcing, ethical and eco-friendly production processes and clean, minimalist design.
The brand’s genesis came from a desire to counteract the industry’s black and white approach to luxury fashion. “My brother and I have always had a passion for fashion but were only very rarely satisfied with the price-quality ratio and the amount of information regarding input materials offered by other brands,” says Jan. “We thought there had to be a better way, which is why we decided to found Dalgado in 2017. By choosing a direct-to-consumer approach, we cut out unnecessary costs, allowing us to create luxury accessories sold at fair prices. Further, we decided to become very transparent about our materials, suppliers, and manufacturing as we strongly believe that our customers have the right to know exactly what they are buying.”
Whilst Dalgado has recently expanded its range to also include gloves, premium quality handcrafted belts are its backbone, and René and Jan are intent on bringing focus to the oft-underestimated significance of the humble belt within the context of a man’s wardrobe. “Despite the everyday need for them in our lives, belts aren’t generally the first thing on people’s minds,” says Jan. “Belts have always been seen more as a functional side-product rather than an accessory capable of making a style statement… We want to change that notion, especially as we believe that a belt – despite being small in size – can make or break an outfit. Belts tie together an outfit and can either support the overall look of an outfit or reveal that someone didn’t pay attention to the details.”