Materials

Selection of materials has always been one of the core elements of our craft. For more than a century, we have devoted particular attention to every detail of the manufacturing process. We could not design quality footwear without first carefully choosing our materials; this savoir-faire is acquired and passed down over time, guided by our passion for artisan shoemaking.

The right leather

Leather has been used for thousands of years for its unique properties. Full grain leather, velour leather and Tuscan goatskin: we carefully select the noblest materials according to their characteristics and end use. Flexibility, thickness, grain, touch and patina are all elements that must be taken into account to make a durable and attractive shoe.

The leathers we choose come mainly from Italy and Spain. They are analyzed in a laboratory by the CTC (Technical Leather Center) of Lyon to verify compliance with REACH standards: regulations adopted by the European Union to protect human health and the environment.

Contrary to what one might sometimes think, the leather industry is essentially a recycling activity since animals are not raised for their hides; hides are leftover resources not used by the food industry.

The right leather

Tanning: vegetable or mineral

Tanning is the process of transforming the raw hide into soft, rot-proof and durable leather. In order for the hide to become leather, it is first prepared and then immersed in tanning agents, or tannins. There are two main types of tanning, mineral or vegetable, depending on the tanning agents used.

Vegetable tanning is the first tanning method used by humans. The hide is transformed using a natural substance, tannin, which is found in the bark, leaves, roots and sap of plants. Depending on the suppleness and color desired, different species like oak, chestnut, mimosa or pine are used.

Vegetable tanning is not the only technique used to obtain leather. The most common method is mineral tanning, using mineral tanning agents such as chromium sulphate or aluminum salt. This technique accounts for more than 85% of the world's leather production. This process provides properties and characteristics that cannot be reproduced with vegetable tanning. The leather obtained is more durable, the possibilities of dyeing and finishing are almost infinite and the color will not change with time.

Over the years, driven by restrictive environmental guidelines and standards, the mineral tanning industry has considerably improved its methods. The tanneries with which we collaborate are equipped with their own water management and treatment circuit and comply with strict working conditions, corresponding to REACH standards. Most of them are members of the Leather Working Group, whose objective is to increase transparency and responsibility via elimination of potentially hazardous substances, reduction of water and energy consumption and management of workplace safety.

“Vegetable" leather?

The term “vegetable” leather is an intentional misuse of language to refer to vegetable tanning. The term "leather" is protected and only describes animal skin. Recent technological innovations have made it possible to develop new materials derived from natural products that offer viable alternatives to leather.

To strengthen our commitment to sustainable development, after several years of research we have developed our first eco-responsible collections. Our goal is to offer styles that do not use animal materials, respecting the environment while maintaining the quality of our products. Today, plastic and its derivatives too often replace leather described as “vegan,” which only replaces one problem with another.

Among these new materials, we design some of our styles with an ecological corn-based microfiber, a material resulting from R&D that approximates the performance of leather. Hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, it is also 100% breathable, with an absorption capacity much higher than that of leather. Resulting from an environmentally friendly manufacturing process, with minimal CO2 emissions, this fabric is also certified by the Oeko Tex 100 label, which guarantees that it does not contain any agents harmful to health. Since 2020, we have been offering a line of "vegan" styles made entirely from microfiber while maintaining the technical characteristics essential for quality footwear.

What’s next? In the coming seasons, we will use new material made from apples, making the most of this food industry by-product. This alternative not only reduces waste but also continues to limit our environmental impact.

Further progress

Beyond leather, we pay particular attention to all the components that make up our shoes.

We mainly use natural rubber soles, which are more resistant to abrasion and thermal variations than synthetic materials. Our soles also comply with REACH standards, as they do not contain phthalates.

Our buckles and eyelets, the only metal elements used in the manufacture of our products, are rustproof and nickel-free. For several seasons now, we have been gradually switching to water-based, solvent-free glues.

Finally, our shoe boxes are now all made from recycled cardboard, taking our sustainable development approach even further.