At Paul Green, we think and act on a comprehensive, regional basis. We focus not only on the shoe itself, but on our responsibility for the environment and for society as well.
- 100% Made in Europe
Our way to increase sustainability
Our sustainable DNA shows through in everything we do – from the materials we choose to our packaging. Our mission is to become a little more sustainable each day, creating a symbiosis between our shoes and our environment.
Sustainable materials for high-quality shoes
Quality & Durability
When choosing the materials for our shoes, we place particular importance on quality, durability, and good manufacturing processes. We focus on both short procurement chains and environmentally-friendly production processes.
As a natural product, leather has many positive properties. It is breathable and flexible, which is why shoes made of leather are so comfortable. Leather’s unique durability and robustness make it a highly sustainable material, particularly in direct comparison with synthetic materials.
We carefully examine the origins of the leather we work with. 80 percent of our leather already comes from LWG-certified tanneries. Every six months, our leather is tested for chemical substances by the independent Prüf- und Forschungsinstitut PFI (Test and Research Institute Pirmasens) to ensure that our products contain no hazardous chemicals. In addition to our certifications, the tanning process is an important parameter of our sourcing process. We are working continuously to increase the percentage of alternative materials we use, such as vegetable-tanned leathers. This percentage is subject to seasonal fluctuations, based on stylistic considerations.
Merino wool is a sustainable alternative to synthetic lining materials. It is also comfortable against the skin, odor-absorbent, highly breathable, and antibacterial. Thanks to its temperature-regulating properties, this natural fiber is cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. Small chambers between the crimped wool fibers make merino wool insulating, and help it transport moisture. This makes it an ideal warm liner for our winter models.
Our warm merino lining is made of 100 percent shorn, non-mulesed wool from certified Portuguese farms. It is also undyed and natural.
TENCEL™ is extremely soft and gentle on the skin. The material is also lightweight, breathable, and quick drying.
The raw material for TENCEL™ is produced using cellulose fibers from eucalyptus trees. The production process is resource-saving and environmentally-friendly. During the process, eucalyptus pulp is soaked, then the cellulose is removed from the plant fibers using non-toxic solvents and spun into fabric. The fabrics are compostable and biodegradable. This means they can be returned fully to nature. Currently, the percentage of Tencel we use in our models with terry lining is over 50%.
A question of respect – we never use real fur or leather from endangered species.
At Paul Green, we know that the environment is influenced by the decisions we make. Because of this, we only use ethical materials in our shoes. We never process real fur, or leather from endangered species. Instead, we use printed and embossed leather to achieve the look of exotic leathers.
We only use lambs wool, merino and sheep wool from non-mulesing farms, faux fur made of synthetic fibers, and vegan liner materials for the warm, lined models in our collections. By doing so, our goal is to ensure that our products meet the needs of our customers and our environmental standards.
The Green Box
A non poluting packaging
We know that packing of any kind is not environmentally-friendly. Nevertheless, packaging is essential to transport our products to their destination unharmed. We are working continuously to minimize the environmental impact of our packaging, and keep that impact as low as possible. Because of this, we only use FSC-certified paper for our packaging. All of the cardboard and paper we use comes from PEFC-certified suppliers, and is printed using water-soluble ink. That means our boxes are already 100% recyclable.
Respect for nature & the environment
Comprehensive testing: Our certificates
Before a shoe leaves our factory, its finishing and environmental-friendliness are checked carefully. We work with external testing institutions to confirm that our shoes meet the highest standards for sustainability and quality. By doing so, we guarantee our customers solid footwear ready to go wherever their paths lead.
Leather Working Group (LWG)
The Leather Working Group (LWG) is a worldwide institution working for sustainable and responsible leather production. The LWG is a charitable organization that advances best practices and positive social and ecological changes. 80% of the leather Paul Green processes comes from LWG certified tanneries. Our goal is to purchase all of our leather from LWG certified operations in the medium term.
PFI Eco Label
The chemical, physical, biotechnological, and microbiological properties of the materials we use are tested by the institute that awards the PFI Eco Label. In addition, the label requires compliance with environmental standards in our supply chains and waste disposal, along with occupational safety and social standards. The label is awarded by the Prüf- und Forschungsinstitut Pirmasens (PFI - the Test and Research Institute Pirmasens), the leading independent testing institution for the shoe industry.
We can do it!
Our path to more sustainability
Shoes 100% made in Europe
As a European manufacturer, we think and act on a regional basis. We have production sites in Austria and Croatia, with contract manufacturers in Bosnia, Serbia, and Albania. We have specifically chosen not to produce our shoes in low-wage countries, but to instead build a supply chain that protects the environment and reduces our consumption of resources. Short transportation distances and transparency with respect to our suppliers are just two reasons why we believe we are choosing the right path.
Sustainable and high-quality production
When manufacturing our shoes, we focus specifically on the selection and composition of individual components. Because of this, we purchase 90% of our materials from Europe. Our goal is to continue increasing this percentage.
We are aware that manufacturing shoes always has an impact on the environment. Because of this, we are working continuously to minimize our environmental footprint and keep it as small as possible. Our strategic decision to keep our production regional is the foundation of this work.
Our path to more sustainability? On-demand production!
Overproduction is one of the biggest issues in the fashion industry. It is a massive problem for the environment and the climate, and results in huge amounts of CO2 emissions and wasted resources. Because of this, at Paul Green we are making a conscious choice against overproduction, and don’t produce our shoes until they are ordered.
We purchase 90% of our materials from Europe
Materials purchased from Europe:
- 49% Italy
- 16% Romania
- 12% Austria
- 9% Germany
- 3% Turkey
- 2% Portugal & Croatia
Materials purchased from third countries:
- 5% India
- 3% Pakistan
- 1% Morocco & China
Paul Green - a company with many faces
Showing respect and supporting one another are a big part of our success. Different viewpoints and approaches enrich our corporate culture. Our employees come from 14 countries, and our workforce is made up of 75% women and 25% men. 25% of our management team is made up of women.
Employee loyalty is just as important as the diversity of our workforce. Currently, over 80% of our employees at the Austrian location have been with us for more than 10 years, and 50% have been with us for over 20 years. 50% of the employees at our international locations, have also worked with Paul Green for more than 5 years. This deep foundation of long-term experience is reflected in the quality and comfort of our shoes.
A female company
Sustainability requires comprehensive thinking. Because of this, we have designed our headquarters to be energy-efficient and resource-saving. A 500 kWp photovoltaic system on the flat, green roof of our headquarters in Austria allows us to produce around 400,000kWh of clean power. With an efficiency of 140%, we are able to meet all of the energy needs of the site with solar power.
A 1000 m² wildflower meadow on the company grounds helps protect biodiversity, and provides a space for our employees to spend their breaks outdoors. We are also working consistently to convert our company vehicle fleet to electric vehicles.