One month after launching, sustainable-care product brand DFNS is making major moves to gain the attention of consumers. Today, the company named stylish BMX legend Nigel Sylvester as its first brand ambassador.
DFNS said in a statement that Sylvester has been tapped to support the brand’s product announcements, attend exclusive launch events in key markets and will receive his own collection of travel-care essentials. Speaking exclusively with FN, Sylvester said the partnership will yield his own collection of products that “complement my everyday lifestyle.” Aside from consumer goods, Sylvester — an athlete with a devoted social media following — said he will also work with DFNS to create compelling content.
Sylvester explained to FN how the label’s eco-friendly roots made a deal attractive.
“The fashion industry is getting beat up so much because of the wastefulness that comes about with creating products. The fact that sustainability was one of DFNS’s main initiatives, that was something that won me over,” Sylvester told FN. “The way they’re approaching sustainability and their eco-friendly mindset was something I took a liking to. The materials they’re using to create the packaging and the actual solutions and how they’re being mindful of the environment, it’s super important moving forward.”
The current product range from DFNS is water-based and is designed to be eco-friendly. It includes a footwear protector, apparel launder, denim launder, footwear refresher, footwear cleaner, and footwear and apparel cleaning wipes. The brand’s goal is to create a product range that one day will be 100% sustainable.
“We’re trying to find a balance between putting the best product out there while being as sustainable as possible. For us, 100% sustainable means having 0% waste against 100% functionality. Together with the suppliers we’re working with, our hope is to succeed with the goal by 2023,” DFNS CEO and owner Arthur van der Kroft told FN. “Most of the solutions we’re using are sustainable. For instance, we use biodegradable oil foils for our bamboo cleaning wipes and carbon negative tubes made from sugar cane for our footwear cleaner. There are certain products that are already getting there but the optimal thing is to become truly biodegradable.”
The executive also discussed plans for the rest of 2020 with FN, which includes delivering a product targeted at the bag business in February and solutions for the tech care market in Q3.
“We feel the same customer spends a lot of time and money on their equipment as well, so that will be about three cleaners. Your cellphone is the dirtiest device that you carry,” van der Kroft told FN. “We believe there’s an interesting opportunity to go after tech care.”
Aside from DFNS, Sylvester’s current sponsors include Nike, Mercedes-Benz, New Era, Ethika and Oakley — all brands that align with his lifestyle. And the sustainable care product brand is no different.
“Cleaning my sneakers is part of my daily ritual,” Sylvester said. “If I’m traveling and I have a pair of all white [Nike] Air Force 1s and it’s my first time wearing them I need to wipe them down quick to keep them extremely fresh. Or if it’s a pair of grails, it’s important to protect them.”
He continued, “Kids are spending so much money on sneakers, and throughout your day and travels you’re beating them up, whether it’s scuffs or something spills on them. I want to focus on creating products that compliment people’s lifestyles to protect sneakers. Since they’re spending so much money on them we should take care of the things we have”
Although Sylvester is the first to sign on with DFNS, van der Kroft told FN that more ambassadors will be signed soon.
“[Ambassadors] need to resonate with the values we’re trying to create. We believe an active lifestyle fits the brand we’re trying to build. There needs to be a large passion for a sustainable point of view or a fashion-sneaker point of view,” van der Kroft said. “We’re looking for music ambassadorships, sports ambassadorships. For the U.S., it’s NBA-driven and for Europe, it’s soccer-driven. There are a few more coming in the [next] six months.”
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