Softstar Shoes - Vegetable Tanned Leather

vegetable tanned leather

We're proud to offer vegetable tanned leather from Ecopell as an option for many of our custom shoes!

Ecopell is a German company that has been vegetable-tanning leather since 1992. While all of the natural leather used in the Softstar workshop is formaldehyde-free and colored with non-toxic food grade dye, Ecopell goes a step further and uses purely vegetable substances for their tanning method. Leather is a natural product and some variation in texture and small imperfections are to be expected. Ecopell vegetable tanned leather has a slightly more matte surface than our regular natural smooth leather with a soft, luxurious hand. Their unsealed surface process leaves the leather extremely breathable.

Please note that this "naked" leather is more likely to show flaws in its appearance and stains easily, even with just water. 

Ecopell's tanning method is designed to minimize their carbon footprint and chemical usage for what the folks at Ecopell call "one of the most environmentally-friendly leathers worldwide." Ecopell is also a proud member of Biokreis, the German association for ecological farming, and holds very high standards for sustainable practices. Even the cows used for their vegetable tanned hides must adhere to specific levels of quality: they must be dairy cows that are chiefly grass-fed and humanely raised on sustainable or organic family farms in the Bavarian Alps region of southern Germany.

We are proud to offer leathers from the Ecopell tannery as they are clearly aligned with our goals to walk lightly on the earth.  Since it comes at a higher material cost than our other leather, we must charge an additional fee when it is selected. You can find it as a color option on most of our custom shoes that are made with smooth leather, including our Ramblers, RunAmocs, Merry Janes and child Classics.

For more information, visit the Ecopell website.