We're proud to offer vegetable tanned leather from Ecopell as an option for many of our customizable shoes! So, what is Ecopell vegetable tanned leather?
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 create low carbon footprint shoes. 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 customizable shoes that are made with smooth leather, including our Ramblers, RunAmocs, Merry Janes, and child Classics.
For more information, visit the Ecopell website.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I have purchased over 8 pair of 'minimalist' shoes in the past 3 years...none of them felt like walking barefoot to me......until now. Your leather is soft your soles are flat and my foot is relaxed!!!"
"My entire experience with Softstar has been nothing short of an amazing experience from beginning to end. Will not buy any other shoes...my feet no longer hurt at all."
"This shoe is exactly what you would hope it to be. High quality leather and workmanship in a simple, natural stance running shoes made of all natural materials. Glad I found them."
"I've never had shoes that have fit as well as these or received as many compliments… I wish I had found them sooner!"
"There are no other shoes like Softstar - strong, comfortable, pretty - the best choice of minimal shoes one can get. Thank you for making our lives easier and wonderful!"
"I am loving these shoes! They are just lovely to have on the feet. And I am not easily impressed... There's nothing on the market that I know of that allows full toe splay! To me, it's a beautiful thing to let the toes move with absolute freedom in the shoe. I cannot do that with ANY OTHER of the barefoot shoes."
"I spent SO MANY years searching for a shoe to fit my feet. At last, you have given me such a shoe! I am convinced that had I met this shoe 30 years ago, I would not have the deformed feet I have now, nor would I have had surgery done on one of them. Abundant thanks for this design that honors my feet."
"These shoes are absolute perfection… The toe box finally allows my pinky toe and big toe to splay naturally and has taken away all previous foot pain… My feet will accept nothing less now."
"Finally something I will wear to work that is truly foot shaped… I usually take my shoes off as soon as I arrive home. I was so comfortable in these that I didn't think about it, and I left them on for hours into the evening."
"These are fantastic. Softstar showed themselves as the best minimal shoe company on the market with these. Functionally, they are the best fitting shoes I own, and they are the most stylish."
"Blown away. These should be the standard. I work at a physio clinic and see multiple people come in with foot pain (bunions, flat feet, plantar fasciitis) and it's mostly because of the effects of improper footwear over time... These shoes are the perfect solution."
"These are the best shoes I've ever owned. FINALLY A TOE BOX SHAPED LIKE A HEALTHY FOOT… I can wear my toe separators in these without any squishing or pressure against the sides of the shoe. Finally, finally, finally... someone prioritized function over form in creating a shoe that feels great to wear."