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Design | July 2022

Our commitment to environmentally sustainable leather

Argyle Black 312102 steps

Steel Blue is committed to using environmentally, sustainably, and ethically sourced leathers.

When it comes to the leather that goes into making our work boots, we’re not just focused on quality. Obviously, having a steady supply of premium leather is extremely important to us, but Steel Blue also is committed to doing everything we can to ensure the leathers we use are environmentally, sustainably, and ethically sourced.

Here are a few key things we’re doing to meet our commitment to being as environmentally responsible as possible.

Working with tanneries

Steel Blue sources the bulk of our leather from tanneries that are members of the Leather Working Group (LWG)—a not-for-profit organisation that audits companies throughout the leather supply chain to ensure they’re complying with environmental standards on everything from water and energy use to chemical management and product traceability.

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Currently, Steel Blue sources 90% of our leather from two tanneries. One, Ecco Leather, is gold-rated and the other, Tasman Leather in New Zealand, is silver-rated (they’re working towards gold). A third tannery we source a small amount of leather from already has a gold rating with LWG. To get a gold rating, businesses must achieve at least a 75% score in seven key areas. If they fall below 75% in any one category, they automatically drop to a silver rating. By 2025, we will only source leather from gold-rated tanneries.

Sustainability is the priority

It’s important to us that all our leathers are a by-product from the food sector, which means we aren’t using cattle bred specifically for leather, creating wastage, and we aren’t following unethical practices in the development of our products.

We’re also trying to reduce the carbon footprint of our products wherever we can. Every step of the journey for each pair of work boots needs to be transparent to ensure we are reducing the environmental impact.

A natural alternative

Steel Blue is also a member of Leather Naturally, a not-for-profit industry group focused on promoting, and educating people about, sustainable leather. Leather Naturally encourages designers, manufacturers, creators, and other enterprises to use leathers made from natural hides and skins in their products, instead of oil-based products like plastics, PVC and polyester.

Leather is the natural and renewable option, so it’s an important conversation—not just for industry and retailers, but for consumers, too—as we all focus on becoming more sustainable and environmentally responsible.

See our Sustainability Roadmap for further information on our key sustainability initiatives or view our broad range of leather safety boots here.

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