Our ethical approach

Manufacturing espadrilles with a difference: our production is located in the south of France, the cradle of espadrilles.

Atelier Aliénor’s creations come to life thanks to the work and know-how of French artisans. You may wonder why our partners are exclusively based in France?

We believe that traditional skills and craftsmanship should be preserved. Espadrilles originally come from France and yet, only 1% of the world’s espadrilles are handmade there. It became more and more urgent to support this heritage.

French labor laws ensure good wages, reasonable hours and honorable working conditions. Our artisans can work from home or from our workshop in a serene and friendly atmosphere.

We work directly with artisans, cutting out the middleman: exchanges between producers and consumers are more balanced.

Our environmental commitments

We know we are not perfect but we are constantly trying to do better to preserve our beautiful planet.

A responsible production model at the heart of the project

+ Handmade production of low volumes

+ No sales. To us, discounts decrease the value of the espadrilles and the value of the work of the artisans. We chose not to rely on intermediaries in order to offer the fairest prices to our customers. For prices to be truly fair, they must stay the same all year long.

+ No items left unsold. All of our collections are available until they are sold out.

+ No waste: our new collections are made from left-over leather (Pauline and Valentine slides from our 2019 collection were made from left-over leather from Charlotte, Laure and Louise espadrilles from previous collections).

Quality espadrilles built to last

+ Our soles are entirely formed from jute, a natural fiber. A cheaper, yet common alternative is to use a foam sole with already fraying jute glued around the edges. We also use 18 strings instead of 10 to make our sole thicker and sturdier.

+ Premium quality leather: the upper part of our espadrilles is made from the highest quality leather sourced in France. Thirty processes – a lot of them are manual processes – are needed to make our leather that soft, supple and resistant.

+ Handmade production with a special technique: the saddle stitching technique that makes the espadrilles durable through the seasons. If one string breaks, the entire shoe will not unravel like espadrilles crafted with a machine.

 

Sustainable raw materials

+ Our espadrilles are only made from natural materials such as jute, cotton, or leather.

+ The soles are made from a vegetable fiber, the jute. A natural rubber is added to the bottom of the sole to make them more durable. No use of glue or chemicals are needed. Our soles are made in the Basque Country.

+ We add an inner sole for more comfort. Starting in 2019, we are using a vegetable tanned leather for the inner sole of our new styles.

+ Our fabrics are produced in Spain and are certified OEKE-TEX Standard 100. They also meet European REACH standards.

Recycled packaging

+ Our packaging (envelope, silk paper, shoe box, shipping box) is made from recycled paper and cardboard.

+ Every pair of espadrilles you buy comes with a reusable cotton bag. They are made in the European Union and meet the safety, ecological and ethical EU standards.

Our French leather

+ Ethical leather: we source our leather from France, from a tannery that is producing a very high quality leather. The tannery has been a family business since early 1900. The third generation who is now in charge of the tannery shares our value of craftsmanship, traditions and sustainability. They have a deep attachment to their people and their “land”. The fact that the factory is based in France ensures very good working conditions and wages, which is sadly very rare in this industry.

+ Upcycled material: the tannery only uses skins that are byproducts of the food industry. No animal is sacrificed for its skin. We are just transforming waste into a luxury material.

+ Traceability: the tannery works exclusively with the best cattle farms (only four) in France and Swiss. Every skin is numbered for traceability matter.

+ Environmental practices: the tannery has a full pre-biological and physical-chemical treatment station which drastically reduces the waste output from their industrial activities. Once the water has been processed at the tannery, it is transfered to the local waste water treatment plant for a last treatment. The remaining contaminants are removed and the water is released in the rivers.

+ Limits: chrome is used to produce our leather in order to meet our quality standards. However, regulation regarding the use of chemicals in industrial activities is rigorous in France and many controls apply. The level of chrome in our leather also meets REACH standards.