100% of our insole and outsole leather is vegetable tanned, and 70% of our upper leather used in Columbia is locally sourced using an innovative "wet-white" tanning process. Like vegetable-tanning, wet-white tanning is chrome-free. It also 40% less water than conventional tanning and reduces the amount of toxins and minerals in wastewater by up to 80%, meaning wastewater can easily be recycled and reused in the production process.
Wet-white tanning is the first step towards a more sustainable future for traditional tanneries. They can use their existing equipment to produce with minimal additional financial investment.
We partner with a single factory in Medellín, Colombia. Our partners are chosen carefully to ensure they pay living wages and provide safe and stable working conditions. In our Colombia factory, employees earn 1.5x-3x the minimum wage.
The lowest wage paid is $1,400,000 Colombian Pesos per month (approx. $370 USD) which is 32%-89% above the average family living wage for the region based on 2019 data from wageindicator.org.
The shoeboxes that we use in our Colombian production are made of "bagasse," or sugarcane pulp. Bagasse is an agricultural byproduct of the sugarcane industry that is reclaimed to create paper--this reduces the waste associated with sugarcane production and gives additional revenue to local farmers. We purchase carbon offsets for our shipping from Native Energy.
Our factory in Colombia has a "Comité de Convivencia" or internal workers' group where workers can discuss issues with each other and their employers, in addition to a strong anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy.