The problem: The leather used for fashion today is not as natural as many think, and it is far from always being a by-product of the meat industry. In a ground-breaking 2006 report, the United Nations stated that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all cars and trucks in the world combined. The use of land for grazing, the vast amounts of water used, and the feed produced for animals contribute further to a negative environmental impact. Additionally, the production and finishing of leather requires toxic chemicals such as lead, dyes, cyanide, and formaldehyde, and huge amounts of energy – thus contributing in massive amounts of pollution and waste (not to mention the cruelty associated with obtaining leather!)
What we do about it: All B_Boheme shoes are made without any animal-derived materials such as fur, leather, wool, silk and animal-based glues. Instead, we dedicate our time and effort to finding progressive material innovations as leather alternatives, such as non-PVC polyurethane microfibre. This way, you can wear our shoes with pride.
The problem: Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, just after the oil industry. Each year, approximately eighty billion garments are produced worldwide, consuming 1 trillion gallons of water, 33 trillion gallons of oil, and 20 billion pounds of chemicals annually. The mass amounts of resources, energy, pollution, and physical labour associated with fashion production are responsible for much of the environmental destruction, animal mortality, worker injustice, and even consumer wellbeing.
What we do about it: Our shoes are designed with the planet, people, and animals in mind. We always opt for classic, trans-seasonal styles to stand the test of time, using the most durable and sustainably-sound materials possible. Completely free from PVC (a toxic yet common plastic used in many non-leather shoes), we constantly work to improve the materials we use to stay on top of sustainable responsibility. By using minimal amounts of energy and eco-friendly materials from suppliers we trust, we can ensure that our shoes are made consciously and responsibly.
The problem: The fact that most workers in the global fashion industry cannot afford to live with dignity (earning around 6 EUR per day) has become one of the industry’s worst kept secrets. Most factory workers spend their lives in dangerously poor working conditions, regularly risking their health and even lives. Accidents like the Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013 show us how truly terrible these conditions can be, and why we need to stand up against worker exploitation.
What we do about it: Ever since the start, skilled Portuguese artisans working in three hand-picked factories in sunny São João da Madeira have been making each pair of B_Boheme shoes using traditional techniques. Where large brands often find it impossible to know where their product is made, we make it our business to personally control our supply chain and visit our factories regularly.