Plant based tanning is an ancient art. The chief active agent being tannin, found naturally in oak bark & rhubarb roots and elsewhere. Since the middle of the 19th century the use of chrome in the tanning process has become widespread in the shoe industry. Leather used for bags, being more supple and less stressed has however continued to be vegetable tanned. With the environmental movement in the nineties, vegetable tanning was redeveloped for shoe making. These traditional tanneries in Tuscany provide our leather at Trippen. Vegetable tanned leather ages charismatically; the colours changing, becoming brownish.
In Short: The leather is tanned using a plant based process.
The leather working group
Is an international association of labels, producers, retailers and NGOs within the leather industry, the goal being to monitor and reduce the impact of leather production on the environment. The environmental cost of each product is estimated through a detailed analysis of its complete life cycle: raw materials, its production, use and subsequent disposal. This is called an LCA. Almost all our leather is sourced from Italian tanneries belonging to the LWG and dedicated to optimising their environmental standards.
In Short: The leather is sourced from tanneries belonging to the LWG.
Chrome tanning became universal during the 20th century, driven by the chemical industry. Although the process has become cleaner and safer during the last decades, the danger of poisonous chrome III being released into the environment through negligence or waste disposal remains.
Therefore, alongside our plant tanned leather, leather tanned with formaldehyde which does not brown with age is used for very light colours.
In Short: The tanning process is chrome free.
We employ almost exclusively water based solvents and adhesives: Some manufacture procedures still require the use of chemical adhesives to meet the necessary standards of durability and longevity.
In Short: The shoe is produced using solvent free adhesives.
Plastic component free
Our designation of a plastic free shoe is one where no composite additional parts from plastic are employed. These are normally used to provide shape and structure. Through innovative design and production techniques we have succeeded in disregarding these extra plastic components.
In Short: The shoe does not contain additional plastic components.
The unique longevity of our shoes arises from the sewn on, highly durable rubber soles which can be repeatably removed and renewed, coming as close as possible to a completely adhesive free shoe.
Our diversity of design means some models are easier to resole than others, but generally it is always possible. The old rubber soles are collected for recycling.
In Short: The soles can be renewed.
The old rubber soles from the repair shop are collected to be worked into granules that are then used for sport pitches and pathways. The waste from our cut out leather brand soles is collected and sent back to the manufacturer to be recycled into new material.
In Short: The worn out rubber soles and the rest cut offs from the mid-soles are recycled.
Natural (Indian) rubber
Natural gum rubber is another sustainable substitute to treated rubber. Natural rubber is not vulcanized, therefore remaining biodegradeable. It is obtained from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), grown in South East Asia and South and Central America. Natural rubber has many uses from condoms, adhesives to car tyres. Not to be confused with synthetic rubber, derived from petrochemical sources.
In Short: The soles compose of bio degradeable natural rubber.
Wooden soles offer a sustainable alternative to rubber. Through the correct selection of the wood involved, it can be adapted to many different designs. Alder wood is our preferred choice, being both tough and workable. The wood is completely untreated, pleasant to wear and healthy for the feet.
In Short: The soles are crafted from native European timber.
A vegan shoe has many different interpretations. For us this means, that we don’t use materials from animals origin and no products for them are used animal experiments.
In Short: The shoe is vegan in terms of our interpretation