From the beginning, our goal was to create a barefoot shoe using exclusively natural and non-toxic materials. We care about a fair production process with the minimum possible impact on the environment and on human lives.
To honour these values, we pick our suppliers and manufacturers carefully, giving preference to those with vast experience and knowledge of good textile production practices and those who offer certifications.
Our main partners are family-owned, local businesses, whom we have a close relationship with, allowing us to support them as well as verify their working conditions.
Working locally also reduces our carbon footprint, as raw materials travel much smaller distances than they would if we acquired them overseas.
We are based in Portugal and follow all the production processes closely, supporting local fabricants, where conditions are fair and and labour respected, as well as avoiding long transport distances. We work with small local manufacturers that have generations of experience in handcrafting shoes – their quality is simply fantastic. A big concern for us is the durability of the shoes.
A resistant, versatile and long-lasting product is essential, according to our view on sustainability.
We select our components carefully and we always make sure we know where they come from, giving preference to local, organic and fair-trade materials.
We mainly use hemp, cotton, organic cotton, burel (felted wool), leather, cork and linen.
We buy some of our fabrics raw and dye them locally with GOTS certified pigments.
Part of the organic cotton we use comes from the North of Portugal, woven on old looms from the beginning of the 20th century. Modern looms usually do not weave with so many strings, which makes it so special and resistant. The cotton they use comes from a plantation in Tunisia. We also use some high-quality organic cotton from Spain, where it is being woven and dyed with GOTS certified pigments.
Our hemp grows and is woven to a strong and beautiful fabric in a small family weaving in Transylvania, Romania, where they have a very long lasting tradition for transforming hemp. Hemp is a regenerative and easily grown plant, which requires no pesticides and does not exploit soils intensively.
The sheared wool we use comes from the Portuguese mountains Serra da Estrela, where the sheep are pastured freely in the highest mountains of Portugal. Burel is a 100% sheep’s wool fabric of medieval origin which has always been associated with the Serra da Estrela, the mountain, the shepherds and their capes. The authenticity of Burel results from a sequence of specific operations in the manufacturing process. After being sheared, washed only with natural soap, spun, dyed and woven on the loom the wool is “trodden“ in a machine called stomper that beats and scalds the wool, transforming the fabric into sackcloth, making it tighter, tough and water resistant. All this processes are done in the same region.
Much like hemp, Linen is a natural fiber extracted from the stalks of flax plants. It has a long history in the Portuguese textiles industry, but pure Linen fabric is rare nowadays. The Linen we have used is sourced from Austria, where stands spun from flax grown in France and Belgium are dyed individually using GOTS certified pigments and woven in Panama style.
Every year thousands of tonnes of textiles go to waste, some of which have regrettably not even been used. Due to a common practice of overproduction or sorting out high quality fabrics which have more than 3 mistakes per roll, large quantities of materials end up unused in storages or go to landfills. Our materials are sourced with the help of a local supplier, who takes surpluses from factories. We only purchase natural cotton and linen deadstock, which are very high quality and resistant. Giving them a new chance to shine as a barefoot shoe and be appreciated, thus reducing the waste created by the textiles industry. We upcycle our own deadstocks and offcuts by frequently using them to create smaller shoe pieces or even limited runs of popular models.
We use vegetable tanned leather as a by-product from the alimentary sector, REACH certificated with no harmful toxins for humans nor the environment. The beautiful and naturally water repellent material becomes more and more beautiful with time and wear. The perfectly imperfect texture and colour variations in the pieces create unique looking shoes.
Portugal is the biggest cork producer worldwide. Despite what many people think, extracting cork doesn’t mean taking trees down. Cork is the bark of the tree which can be taken off every ten years, so it is a completely renewable material with great properties. For our shoes we use cork as a vegan alternative to leather, for example with its water repellent properties, insulation and easy care, as the Cork fabric does not require waterproofing.
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