Use as many eco-friendly materials as possible and reduce our carbon footprint. We spent a great deal of time researching manufacturing options, ideally wanting to produce in Europe, but soon learned we needed to adjust our strategy.
The Hard Facts:
- The majority of materials used in European factories come from China.
- Production costs in Europe are very high relative to Asia, preventing us from selling in the US, a key market for SAOLA’s launch.
- As a small startup we cannot impose our own social and environmental standards on factories, we must work with those that have already established them.
THE IMPACT OF A SHOE:
- 60-70% of the carbon footprint is related to the shoe’s construction and materials.
- Transportation accounts for less than 5% of a shoe’s carbon footprint.
- The rest is related to packaging, end of lifecycle, etc.
- Focus our efforts on minimizing the carbon footprint of the shoe via construction and materials, the other 30-40% will come later.
- Work with a factory located in southern China to keep costs down and use the already established environmental and social standards set in place by other respected, international brands that produce here.
- Monitor working conditions with Asia-based SAOLA member, Xavier.
This is just the beginning. We are continually looking for better solutions and more ways to make an impact, all while producing cool shoes and creating positive change in the world. The future is bright at SAOLA.