DiVERGE's purpose is to promote social change and environmental responsibility.
We are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by United Nations General Assembly,
as we also want "to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”.
DiVERGE generates impact in the following ways:
Society needs to promote the social inclusion of all and DiVERGE believes the power of self expression (and the self confidence it asserts) is a key element to achieve it. We believe that when one creates something material that reflects their preferences, personality or ambitions, they are being reaffirmed. Self expression measurably impacts self esteem and self confidence, which are needed for the long journey that is social inclusion.
That is why we empower every individual through a co-creation platform where everyone can be who they are and tell their story to the world through their customized sneakers, so they can be better understood, respected and accepted. With the vast majority of customers creating sneakers from a white canvas, we are proving that sneakers can again be a great instrument of self expression and social change.
We believe every individual is entitled to dignity and opportunity and that everyone can contribute to a better tomorrow. However, in order to do that, one needs skills and competences which are not often made available in underserved and underprivileged communities.
That is why we have created IMAGINE, an educational program for young people between 16-24 years old at risk of social exclusion and poverty in which each participant goes through an education program that boosts employability skills, has the opportunity to tell their story to the world by creating their own sneakers and launch a micro-business with DiVERGE to practice the new earned skills, getting all the proceeds that result from the sales. We have an impact on this demographic by increasing their competences, improving social inclusion and providing an additional revenue stream to each participant.
Responsible Consumption and Production
We believe in responsible consumption: buying less while enjoying more. There is a lack of quality of the majority of sneakers in the market, generating unnecessary waste and consumption with significant impact on the environment.
That is why we only source premium materials from certified suppliers and we make sure that every pair of sneakers is handcrafted with the highest standards to last a long time. Our quality generates impact through responsible consumption and we stand by it.
We believe in responsible production and think the industry can thrive without harming the environment or exploiting workers. The fashion industry generates high levels of pollution and, often times, it provides poor working conditions to its workforce.
That is why all our sneakers are made to order - we only make what we sell, avoiding unnecessary waste and significant ecological footprints - and why our sneakers are handcrafted in Portugal in family owned workshops with a commitment to creating an ethical working culture. We have an impact on the environment by producing efficiently (avoiding CO2 emissions in the process) and in our community by supporting fair and ethical businesses.
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
We believe the path to sustainability is an ongoing journey that requires continued investment but also innovative thinking and we believe the shoe making industry in Portugal has unique skills but needs to embrace a future that will require a different set of capabilities.
That is why we have - together with our partners - developed processes that optimize production with high resource-use efficiency and only handcraft our sneakers in Portugal so we can be a catalyst of change and innovation in a traditional industry. We have an impact in the industry through the implementation of more sustainable and environmentally sound processes that reduce CO2 emissions.