Our Sustainability Promise

Operating with integrity for over 100 years, Wittner is one of Australia’s most trusted brands. We’re known for the consideration and quality that goes into every design and we are proud to extend this level of dedication to creating a more sustainable future.

Sustainable practices have always been at the core of what we do, from the suppliers we work with to the materials we choose. However, we think we can do better. By acknowledging and addressing the true impact our business has on the environment, we intend to work towards a better world for generations to come.

Like everyone, our path to creating a more sustainable future will be a long one. Nevertheless, we are eager to take whatever steps we can to start making a difference now.

 

OUR ECO-FRIENDLY PACKAGING

Wittner has partnered with a supplier that’s a member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to design and develop our Eco-Shoebox. An inventive packaging solution that intersects functionality with creative design, the eco-box is made from 100% recycled pulp and is itself reusable and recyclable.

Available in two sizes – chosen to limit waste - the eco-box features an in-built handle that means plastic carry bags are no longer necessary. The natural brown finish is a testament to its environmental design, excluding the need for harmful lamination and ink dye materials in its manufacture.

The strong and sturdy eco-box design and eco-friendly inner packaging materials will keep your beautiful shoes safe and protected during transit. And once you’ve brought your new shoes home, the box can be repurposed for storage, making it a useful addition to your wardrobe in more ways than one.

In addition to our eco-box, we are phasing out the use of biodegradable plastic bags in favour of recyclable paper carry bags to be offered in-store if eco-boxes are not yet available. Our aim is to make shopping with Wittner as eco-friendly as possible, contributing to the reduction of landfill and a more sustainable way of life.

 

OUR WORKSHOPS & MANUFACTURING

We select our factory partners based on several criteria, including environmental practices, employee treatment and dedication to craft and quality. We also look at the partner’s willingness to effect change to meet outcomes that are important to us.

Below are some of the factors we consider before trade commences:

    1. The factory’s track record and treatment of its employees
    2. The skill of the workforce and its ability to meet Wittner quality requirements
    3. Its history and compliance with local government and relevant country laws
    4. The economic sustainability of the factory
    5. Its policies on environment protection

Since 2000, our production methods have been based on a vertical manufacturing philosophy that gives us transparency and control over every aspect of production. This is an environmental and ethical advantage as it allows us to set the standards for processes, waste reduction and employee wages.

As a brand we aim to ensure that supply partners offer:

    1. A minimum worker age as regulated by local law
    2. Fair and reasonable mutually agreed working hours
    3. Individual freedom and choice regarding work
    4. A hygienic and safe working environment
    5. Wages that comply with labour laws in the country or that reasonably cover the cost of living
    6. Environmental and employment protections, laws and regulations

We believe in the importance of having people on the ground to ensure that our high quality product and sustainability standards are consistently met. Wittner technicians regularly audit and monitor the conditions at the factories and the factories' integrity regarding compliance, social and environmental issues.

 

OUR PRODUCTS & SLOW FASHION

Wittner’s investment in quality materials, componentry and craftsmanship, means your shoes will last and become more beautiful and comfortable with every wear. We also aim to give you the best education around leather and how to care for your shoes in order to extend their lifespan and minimise waste.

Nevertheless, the occasional imperfection or flaw does occur and there are often simple repairs that can be made to remedy any defects. Should an issue arise, our Store Managers are specially trained to assess the condition of your shoes and recommend the best course of action.

This level of knowledge, skill and understanding around leather and footwear construction is central to our ability to achieve our sustainability goals through waste reduction and re-use. Our partnership with the Salvation Army also means that we can actively assist you to donate previously loved shoes and give them a new lease of life when the time comes.

To learn more about caring for your Wittner shoes, visit our Product Care page.

 

OUR LOVE OF LEATHER

One of the most naturally beautiful and durable materials on earth, leather has always been central to the Wittner brand. As a renowned producer of quality leather goods, we have a responsibility to ensure the ethical and sustainable manufacture of our products and our dedication to the ethical sourcing of leather and raw materials is ongoing.

Wittner sources leather from many finished tanneries around the world including Europe, Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand. Currently, we only use tanneries with the highest environmental ratings and we are committed to further verifying our own environmental compliance by becoming an active member of the Leather Working Group (LWG).

Wittner adheres to Australian custom regulations prohibiting the importation of exotic skins or threatened species. Our snake and crocodile treatments are produced using leather printing and embossing technologies or are farmed with a certificate of origin for Australian regulation purposes.

Wittner does not use real fur in the production, design, or construction of any of its products.

 

OUR PEOPLE

Our commitment to the environment reaches beyond the realm of manufacturing and production. Being sustainable means we must cultivate a work environment and brand ethos centred on good environmental practices.

We have taken steps towards this by moving our learning resources away from printing and paper to an online format - and by creating an online forum for our teams to share their ideas and feedback about sustainable initiatives for the future.

We believe in the power of unity and teamwork and we acknowledge the significance of our role in the fair treatment of workers. We want everyone who interacts with Wittner, from our customers to our employees and partners, to have a positive experience of the brand.

 

The path to a more sustainable future is a long one but it’s a journey we’re excited to take. We acknowledge that as this journey progresses, new and better environmental practices will be discovered and we promise to keep innovating and evolving to make sure that our customers can always shop Wittner shoes with confidence.

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