Retraced & Monaco Ducks - The Interview on our collaboration

4 Minute Read

MONACO DUCKS has been making sneakers in a different way since 2017. With innovative materials, absolute transparency, responsible business practices and the pursuit of the best quality. We're thrilled to be working with them to help them take the next step towards even more transparency and sustainability. 

In the following interview between MONACO DUCKS founder Carl Warkentin and our CEO and co-founder Lukas Pünder, you can find out what makes this innovative and pioneering brand tick, what sustainability means to us and how we work together with MONACO DUCKS. 

 Carl Warkentin Monaco DucksLukas Picture

Carl - MONACO DUCKS: How do you describe retraced and what you do?
Lukas - retraced: retraced is about the whole topic of sustainability management and transparency. For us, the first step is to collect as much data as possible from the supply chain, the second step is to manage this data and get an overview of where we actually want to go and where we currently stand, and the third step is to pass on this data and insights - either to us, the consumers and customers, or also to the business partner, who can perhaps use this information to make further analyses.

Carl - MONACO DUCKS: And do you have an industry focus?
Lukas - retraced: With retraced we have a very clear focus on the fashion and textile industry. The reason for this is that with retraced we first want to build a platform that can really solve the problems of the industry. The more holistic you try to build a platform, the less automated it can be. In addition, retraced is about creating a network, which means that suppliers and brands should communicate with each other at eye level, and the larger or the clearer the focus, the faster you can build this network and get the relevant companies onto the platform.

Lukas - retraced: And what about you? How did the idea for MONACO DUCKS come about and what is your mission?
Carl - MONACO DUCKS: The fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world and the sneaker is the dirtiest product in the fashion industry but at the same time the biggest lifestyle product of our generation. So if we manage to improve the sneaker, we create the biggest possible impact to enable a sustainable economy.
MONACO DUCKS stands for the most sustainable sneaker in the world, for high wearing comfort and a cool lifestyle product. Currently, we are not only working on making the sneaker as sustainable as possible, for example through selected upper materials or a biodegradable sole but also on optimizing the entire recycling process in the after-life.

Carl - MONACO DUCKS: And what does sustainability mean to you?
Lukas - retraced: For us, sustainability means in the first step that it is not only about the environment, but above all about fairness. That means "sustainability" is a very holistic term for us and the most important thing is that you are never sustainable. Rather, sustainability is always a mindset for us. So it's an iteration of trying to be better and better stewards of the resources that we have available with the goal that future generations can continue to live the way that we can. And that means, of course, that we have to do a lot of rethinking.

Carl - MONACO DUCKS: And what do you mean by transparency?
Lukas - retraced: For us, transparency means gaining a full understanding of what happens in the supply chains. That's not so easy, because in the first step you have to understand which companies have contributed to the creation of value in your products and in the second step how it looks like with these companies. And that's exactly what has to happen in order to really understand what's happening in the supply chains and also, of course, to make better management decisions in order to make more sustainable decisions in the second step.

Lukas - retraced: Speaking of transparency. What do you pay attention to in the production of your products?
Carl - MONACO DUCKS: We pay attention to everything in the production of our shoes - not only that the work is done properly, but also to the sub-suppliers, for example, where we get our laces from and what materials we use: To get sustainable and good products. We also care about how it is produced and where it is produced. So as close to home as possible - in Europe. How is it produced? Under fair conditions, that the quality is right at the end of the day and everything in the overall concept is very sustainable. But we also go well beyond how sustainably the shoe is constructed, because we're also concerned with whether and how the shoe can be recycled afterward.

Lukas - retraced: And why did you decide to work with us?
Carl - MONACO DUCKS: We have been working together for quite a while. Firstly, because we have the possibility to collect all our suppliers in one place and to see in the system who has which certificates, where what comes from and what something is made of. And secondly now also so that our customers have the possibility to see on our website where our products come from and how they are produced: To be able to enable maximum transparency.

Carl - MONACO DUCKS: Do you have a favorite DUCKS?
Lukas -  retraced: I don't know if you know it, but we ourselves are of course also shoe fanatics, because the retraced idea originally arose from a brand that we founded, named CANO in 2016. Therefore, we have of course dealt intensively with your shoes. My favorite is the vegan sneaker in white-navy. The reason for this is that I read that you guys use leftover wine in this one. And because we of course also like to drink wine, this fits very, very well.

Lukas - retraced: What do you wish for the future and what are your plans with retraced?
Carl - MONACO DUCKS: Of course, we hope that our customers appreciate that we are so open and honest about our products and the origin of our products and materials. But of course, also that other brands jump on the bandwagon, that this offer is much more in demand. Because the more we at MONACO DUCKS deal with the topic of sustainability and transparency in the supply chain, the more aware we become of how incredibly important this is for a sustainable approach to the environment.


Check out the integration of retraced in the MONACO DUCKS Online Store on the product page right here.

Lena Neumann