Our journey towards transparency and sustainability lead us on a long and winding journey to our incredible Ethical Manufacturing Partners in Brazil.
One of our core brand pillars as a business is to be CONSCIOUS. We believe that as a brand and as a producer of goods, we have the responsibility to the earth and to the consumer to operate as sustainably as possible. For us, this meant that working with a supplier that we could work directly with, and one whose values aligned with our own was a non negotiable.
Situated in the South of Brazil, in the “shoemaking district” near Porto Alegre, we knew our manufacturing partners were special when we first reached out to them through a mutual contact that makes lasts for a living (more on lasts later). The family owned and operated factory has an impressive collection of internationally acclaimed brands it partners with, and we’re so incredibly honoured to be a part of that collection.
It was important for us to partner with a factory that would allow us the freedom and flexibility of creating our own unique lasts, heels and upper patterns. Another key factor for us in finding the perfect manufacturing partner, was being able to work closely with the factory and the team during the development, pre-production and production stages of manufacture. From day one, our account manager Jussara, and the talented team we have worked alongside to create our beautiful footwear, have been incredibly supportive, patient, and hard working. We were able to video call weekly and often daily during the development process and conduct virtual ‘fit tests’ to ensure the perfect fit and shape. Footwear is a predominantly hand-made product, and our shoes pass through many talented hands on their journey to you. The quality of Bronwyn Footwear is a credit to the talented team that hand makes them.
Our factory is a 4-Pillar SMETA accredited factory and works alongside LWG and CSCB accredited tanneries. SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) is a holistic business audit that encompasses all aspects of responsible business practices and uses the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) base code to monitor standards. It ensures the safe and fair working conditions for all employees, supports the factory to operate in an ethical and efficient way, and ensures environmental codes and best practices are adhered to including waste management, energy efficiency and water conservation. It also reviews the positive impact the factory has on the community in which it operates.
The tanneries our factory partners with are both CSCB (Brazilian leather certification of sustainability) and LWG (Leather Working Group) accredited tanneries meaning sustainable practises are adhered to in terms of the environment, the local economy and society. This includes fair labour practises, health and safety standards, and a focus on continually reducing environmental impact and creating better working conditions for their employees. It ensures there’s control of the leather and tracking from the origin source of raw material through to tanning and finishing, and restrictions on chemicals throughout. Water consumption and energy consumption is also managed with renewable energy sources as a focus. Every aspect of the leather tanning process is managed and reported on from raw material through to waste management and disposal.
More about LWG can be found here
More about CSCB can be found here
We can’t wait to develop one next collection with our talented makers, so we can continue to celebrate their incredible work and showcase their talents.