How sustainable are your leathers?

Each product that leaves the Italian Shoe Factory features pristine quality leather and suede,
sourced from the best ethical tanneries in Italy and around the world. When selecting a tannery,
we ensure that each leather supplier has been audited against LWG standards also known as
the Leather Working Group Environmental Auditing Protocol. The group seeks to improve the
leather manufacturing industry by creating alignment on environmental priorities, bringing
visibility to best practices and providing suggested guidelines for continual improvement. We
also use vegan leather, vegetable tanned leather which is a natural tanning process and
chrome-free leather in our production of footwear and leather goods.

What are the technical characteristics of the leather you are buying?

All materials used to make products are classified under the LWG protocol and are
recognized with the Gold LWG Award for its good ethical, environmental and safety practice in
the processing of hides.

What are your commitments to reduce your environmental footprint as a manufacturer? What are your ethical principles?

Our leathers are produced with the purpose to minimize their impact on the health and the
environment during the production phase as well as in the recycling and disposal phases.
The leather used is a Blauer Engel-certified product, which further protect the environment and
the health of people thanks to a series of tangible benefits:

● lower consumption of water during the various production phases;
● use of raw materials produced in a sustainable fashion;
● sound use of resources during the production or disposal phases;
● absence of harmful effects on the health and the environment because of the low of
emissions;
● easy to recycle.

As a factory, we only purchase the necessary amount of materials each year as per order and
follow a lean manufacturing process. When cutting the leather, we have a special team in place
that ensures maximum usage from each piece of hide to avoid wastage and disposal so that we
have a lower carbon footprint on the environment.

What is the process of your leathers tanning?

The leather production process consists of a complex series of treatments listed below:

1. Soaking: Washing in water to remove impurities and folds from the hides
2. Pressing: Excess water is eliminated and the hide is stretched
3. Splitting: The grain – the outer surface of the hide – is mechanically separated
horizontally from the split (the lower part)
4. Shaving: The entire surface of the hide acquires a uniform thickness
5. Trimming: Cutting, selecting and dividing the hide
6. Dying: The key point in the process, lending the hide softness, colour and stability
(storage life)
7. Drying: Removing the water via vacuum suction using special equipment made of steel
plates
8. Conveyor: Conditioning the leather by suspending it from an overhead conveyor at
ambient temperature
9. Staking: The leather is softened using a machine that provides a mechanical beating
action
10. Buffing: Surface abrasion using special paper to lend sheen (for nubuck and suede
splits)
11. Fulling: The leather is softened by mechanical buffeting within drums under controlled
humidity conditions
12. Finishing: Treatment to give the desired shine, colour and appearance
13. Ironing: This step is needed to ensure the level of shine required
14. Trimming: Ensuring that the finished product has regular edges
15. Workshop: Physical and chemical tests carried out to international standards and
customer specifications
16. Selection: Checking for quality, surface properties and thickness
17. Measuring: Measuring with precision electronic equipment, packaging and shipping
18. Storing the finished material ready for delivery of the samples and just in time service

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