Genuine leather is an excellent material for making high-quality outdoor products such as trekking and hiking boots. Leather is durable, extremely robust even under extreme conditions and offers outstanding wearing comfort. Provided that it is cared for properly, leather’s quality can be maintained for years. In addition, this renewable raw material features natural breathability. All this makes leather an extremely functional yet natural product, which, in contrast to synthetic materials, is also biodegradable. However, obtaining this valuable raw resource rarely takes place under ecologically sound conditions. VAUDE therefore relies 100 % on environmentally friendly and resource-conserving leather from German bulls. This leather has been honored and certified by the Leather Working Group and meets our own requirements for responsible production methods.
Leather and animal welfare – it’s possible!
On a global scale, things look bleak for animal welfare and environmental protection. One reason for this is that in many regions, animal welfare plays a very small role for the local population. On the other hand, there is strong competition in many regions for livestock farmers and leather goods manufacturers. In South America, for example, there is much less pasture land available than would be necessary. As a result, rainforests are cleared to create fertile soil.
Another problem is the large number of chemicals used in tanneries. These are particularly harmful to local workers. In many cases, toxic substances remain detectable in finished products and can have a negative impact on the health of the user. At VAUDE, we therefore only use raw materials for our leather products whose origins we know and can verify. This helps us ensure that the conditions for both the animals and the employees of the processing plants meet a high standard.
Terracare® — our partner for certified leather
For its footwear, VAUDE uses leather from the house of Heinen exclusively. Heinen is a family-run German business committed to animal welfare and environmental conservation. It ensures short transport routes and the use of as few chemicals as possible for tanning. The company has been audited by the Leather Working Group Protocol and the Terracare® leather has been certified with the best rating of A. Another criterion that the auditing institution takes into account is a leather company’s water consumption. Heinen uses only about one-fifth of what is needed in conventional tanneries per square meter: 95 liters compared to an average of 450 liters of water. In addition, Heinen’s wastewater is unproblematic for the environment. The company uses an elaborate treatment process: Instead of discharging its wastewater directly, Terracare® first purifies the water in the company's own plant. Only then is it fed into the local sewage treatment plant, where the water passes through a biological purification process and can then be returned to the circuit as clean fresh water.
VAUDE Certified Leather Certified Leather from German Bulls Genuine leather is an excellent material for making high-quality outdoor products such as trekking and hiking boots.... read more »