We take extreme care in everything that we do, and there is no exception when it comes to the materials we use.
In the following list, we’re going to break down each and every material we use during the making process of our shoes. We believe that transparency is due to our customers who trust us for providing them the best product they could ever dream of.
One important thing to keep in mind is that we value social responsibility as much as ecology and that all of the products we source come from healthy workplaces where fair working conditions and salaries are mandatory.
Our second-hand shoes:
We have settled a partnership with a social company, based in France, specialised in collecting, sorting and recycling all kinds of textiles and shoes. Besides doing good for the planet, they do at least as much good for the people they employ, as their goal is simply to reach their social objectives before any economical or profit aim.
In their biggest sorting center, 50 tons of textiles and clothing are sorted daily, including 5 tons of shoes. From this amount are extracted by hand from the workers there the majority of the shoes we use for our production. We drive ourselves from Amsterdam to their site in the North of France to collect the pairs. If we really miss a particular size in a particular style, we use common second-hand channel to get it, from thrift shops to websites. Never buy new shoes is our motto.
Our Vegetable tanned leather:
All the virgin leather we use to make our shoes is 100% vegetable tanned. The tanning process is basically what transforms a skin or a hide into leather.
Vegetable tanning is the most ancient and natural technique, although sadly nowadays the most common tanning process in the industry remain using hazardous solution such as chromium.
Vegetan, as it’s called, is a very time consuming process that results from traditional craftsmanship. There are very few tanneries that still perform this technique, but it is said that the best quality you can ever find comes from the region of Tuscany in Italy. No wonder where the Tuscan leather got his reputation. This is where we source ours.
All these components are based on it :
Cork is an amazing product in terms of comfort, durability, design and ecological footprint. We source our big granulated cork sheets from a family business based in Alentejo, Portugal. We then handshape it into wedges. This component comes from a tree named cork-oak and is 100% natural. Harvests happens during Spring/Summer transition every 9 years for each tree and instead of harming, is helping it to live healthier and longer.
The actual rubber soles we use for our shoes are produced in Italy and made of high quality EVA, which is a by-product of oil. Even though it offers great comfort and durability to the wearer, this material is virgin, hardly recyclable and has a terrible ecological footprint. Throughout the industry, finding a good alternative to this material is one of the biggest challenge. By the Eurpean Union we are being supported through the Worth Partnership to develop more sustainable soles, we will report on the development when we have any news.
Shoemaking implies the use of glue in many steps and we have find a way to tackle it. Little by little, doing wearing tests, we tend to replace the regular chemical glue by a strong water-based glue. So far, 80% of the glue we used is water-based. We aim to reach the 100% soon and hope to update this section really soon.
We’re not letting any detail slip away from this list. Our designs involve a lot of stitching, which obviously has its visual perks but also helps us reduce the use of glue. But what about the quality of the yarns we use? We use two different thicknesses for the storm welt, a thin one for assembling it to the upper, and a thick one for assembling it to the leather midsole. If the design of the pair we’re working on applies a leather sole, then we use a third type of yarn. Due to the required performance of these yarns, we stuck to PET because it’s the only material that we know for sure won’t fail us. However, this doesn’t prevent us from experimenting with better materials in terms of ecological footprint such as recycled PET or hemp. We aim to find a good enough alternative so that we’ll be able to replace our current material.