Leather origin

Where does our leather come from?

One thing has to be said in advance, though: We only use hides that are a by-product of meat production and we do not use any leather from endangered animal species.

The leathers we use come exclusively from renowned tanneries and mainly from Italy. There we do not buy from dealers, but directly from manufacturers with whom we have been working for many years. Thus, we know where the leather comes from. Apart from this, our leathers are regularly tested, both physically and chemically, to verify the absence of harmful substances. If you would like to know more about our pollution monitoring click here.

Apart from Italy, we also purchase a smaller proportion of leather from other countries, e.g. from Portugal or India. Here, too, these are mostly based on long-standing supplier relationships. Our cooperation is characterised by a relationship of mutual trust - but also by compliance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct. This is regularly verified by our own employees on site or by commissioned inspection bodies.

In our own plants, our leather inspectors inspect every single hide and mark it. Thanks to precise archiving, we can also subsequently trace the origin of the leather that is used for each individual shoe.

The majority of the tanneries from which we obtain our leathers are certified or validated in accordance with:

  • LWG (Leather Working Group)
  • EMAS (EU Ecological Audit)
  • ISO 14001

Certified according to LWG

The Leather Working Group (LWG) is an initiative in which various stakeholders, such as brands or tanneries, have joined together to make the conditions in tanneries and distributors more transparent and to change them sustainably. In order to put its aims into practice, the Leather Working Group has developed an audit record for sustainable and responsible leather production. This involves giving the suppliers ratings in the categories Gold, Silver and Bronze. Some tanneries, including Gabor Shoes AG suppliers, are members of LWG and are able to prove this with certificates.

Validation according to EMA

The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), also known as the EU Eco-Audit, was developed by the European Union. Similar to ISO 14001, companies are responsible for their own environmental impact. The basis for the improvement process is a comprehensive environmental inventory, the so-called environmental audit. Organisations are required to initiate "the establishment and implementation of environmental policies, objectives and programmes as well as effective environmental management systems" (DGQ, 2019). As in the case of ISO 14001, the environmental policy must include a voluntary commitment to comply with all relevant environmental regulations and to ensure continuous improvement.  What is more, companies must communicate about their environmental impacts in order to obtain validation in accordance with EMAS.  Companies, service providers, administrations etc. can be certified, but also other types of organisation including supranational organisations.

Certified according to ISO 14001

ISO 14001 is a standard for the introduction of an environmental management system that has the purpose of improving environmental protection and reducing environmental pollution. The basis for this is an environmental policy that includes a voluntary commitment to comply with binding obligations and to a continuous improvement process. Companies, plants, enterprises, but also authorities or institutions can be certified in accordance with ISO 14001.

Certified organic leather

Leather is considered a high-quality natural material and a durable material for clothing and shoes. We use organic leather for the upper material for some of our new Pius Gabor models. Our organic leather is metal-free, vegetable tanned and chemically harmless. What is more, it is compostable in accordance with the ISO 20200:2004 standard. The standard that is actually used to prove the biodegradability of plastics has been modified to ensure that it can also be used for leather.

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