Wittner Shoes is one of Australia’s most trusted footwear brands. Globally, the Wittner name is known for the quality of its products, the quality of its people and the integrity with which the company has operated for over 105 years
The company was founded in 1912 by HJ Wittner and has subsequently been sustained by three generations of the Wittner family. The company is proud of its heritage and today, Wittner's dedication to quality extends far beyond their shoes, with a strong focus on the sustainability of its brand, its employees and the environment(s) in which the company trades both in Australia and offshore.
QUALITY SOURCING & SUPPLIERS
As almost all Wittner products are manufactured offshore, the company seeks to ensure that it only trades with Ethical Supply Partners.
When selecting supply partners, the following economic, social and environmental factors are considered before trade commences:
- Its track record and attitude toward its employees and employee entitlements
- Employee accommodation conditions (where applicable)
- The economic sustainability of the factory
- The skill of the workforce and its ability to meet Wittner quality requirements
- Its history and compliance with local government and relevant country laws
- Its policies on environment protection, and
- Any other social, ethical or moral considerations.
ETHICAL WORKING CONDITIONS
Bringing quality products to Wittner consumers requires skilled labour that typically results in the use of factories that employ higher paid footwear technicians.
As a brand we aim to ensure that supply partners offer:
- A minimum worker age as regulated by local law
- Fair and reasonable mutually agreed working hours
- Individual freedom and choice regarding work
- A hygienic and safe working environment and conditions
- Wages that comply with labour laws in the country or that reasonably cover the cost of living, and;
- Environmental and employment protections, laws and regulations.
MONITORING & QUALITY ASSURANCE
Wittner believes in having people on the ground overseas to ensure that our high quality product and sustainability standards are consistently met. Wittner technicians audit and monitor first hand the conditions at the factory and the factory’s integrity regarding compliance, social and environmental issues.
SUSTAINABLE SOURCING OF RAW MATERIALS
At Wittner, we use a variety of leathers and animal by-products in the manufacture of our shoes. As a business, our dedication to ethical sourcing of leathers and raw materials where possible is ongoing.
We typically source our leather from many different finished tanneries around the world including Europe, Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand. We observe and support with interest, the efforts being made by the leather industry to move towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly leather manufacturing processes and the efforts by most governments and industries to reduce the environmental impact of tanneries.
At Wittner, we love leather for its true beauty and natural breathability that protects our feet and keeps us in balance for day-to-day living.
Wittner is 100% for the ethical treatment of animals. We are supportive of animal welfare and the minimisation of stress, harm or pain to animals. We also observe Australian custom regulations prohibiting the importation of exotic skins or threatened species. To that end, our snake and crocodile treatments are either produced using leather printing and embossing technologies or farmed with a certificate of origin for Australian custom regulation purposes.
Wittner do not use real fur in the production, design, and construction of our products.
Wittner employs considered design within our retail stores, with a focus and dedication to minimising our footprint and opting for more environmentally friendly options.
Wittner continually strives to improve sustainability and reduce waste via our investment in quality packaging.
Wittner shoe boxes are made with quality, long lasting materials and our designs have in mind the prospect that our customers will want to keep and/or reuse Wittner boxes in their home. We are also working to reduce the amount of packing found inside the boxes, which ultimately protects the shoes from damage during transit.
RE-USABLE OR RECYCLABLE CARRY BAGS
At Wittner we have also been leaders in the use of re-usable and recyclable carry bags and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing our customers re-use our bags. Aside from supporting a quality Australian owned brand, customers who re-use Wittner carry bags are contributing positively to the environment and reduction of landfill.
We at Wittner are focused on not only continuing our commitment to sustainable business practices, but on researching, implementing and enforcing new practices and initiatives as new information and opportunities become available.