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faire schuhe handgefertigt fair trade sneaker

Supporting traditional European shoemakers

SORBAS integrates small and traditional shoemakers into modern supply chains, securing the future of family businesses and their staff. By choosing small and trustworthy shoemakers for the production, we support the local population and development. Currently, we work with shoemakers in Serbia, Greece and Portugal.

Traditional Shoemaking Meets Innovation

SORBAS has brought its contemporary design and ethical footwear approach to Serbia. There, we are working with a family who have been in the shoemaking business for three entire generations. This cooperation creates an opportunity for the shoemakers to access new markets outside of their home country, while securing the future of their business and staff. In return, we are blessed with access to incredible know-how in traditional shoemaking. Great! Nowadays, most of our shoes are made in Serbia and the family company is our main supplier. Since the beginning our journey together in 2015, we have ensured significantly higher wages and improved working conditions for the shoemakers and sewers. We have also enabled the access of innovative materials and are proudly contributing to the long-term prosperity of the company.

Ethically Made in Europe

From the very beginning, it was imperative for us that our products were made close to home. Shorter transport routes, better quality control and the ensuring of proper working standards are some of the main benefits. The shoe industry in Serbia has a long tradition in producing high-quality footwear for the regional market. However, with increasing imports from the Far East, the situation for Serbian shoe makers is becoming quite difficult. We strive to offer a bright future to the family business and their local community by establishing a production site for ethically made shoes.

A 3rd Generation Family Business

The family has been making shoes since 1922 and the business is now in the hands of the third generation. Together with the family, there are 10 shoemakers and sewers working in the production. The business is led by sisters Mesa and Ajtana who have recently inherited it from their father. Most of the staff have been working in the business for years, some even for decades. Traditional, old shoemaker machines support the predominantly handmade production.

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Handmade Sandals

All of our sandals are crafted by the experienced sandal maker Stelios, who learned the art of sandal making from his father. We are proud to promote this traditional workmanship in order to keep the amazing craft alive. The attention to detail and quality allows for incredibly durable and beautiful sandals to be made. They are the perfect companion for warm days under a Mediterranean sun. The leather used for the by Stelios derives from Greece and is vegetable-tanned for increased comfort and longevity. Placing the production within the EU ensures our ability to maintain a high standard of working conditions and sustainability. Our sandals are available in 4 colors and currently only in leather. We are working on developing a vegan model for animal-free beach strolls in the near future.

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Sustainable Sneakers and Backpacks

Some of our shoes are made in beautiful Portugal. The region surrounding the country’s second largest city Porto is considered the center for European shoe production. Even though Asia is a huge competitor to the European production, Portugal still has a vibrant network of both shoemakers and suppliers. The focus has shifted towards a high-quality and modern production, with sustainability now being at the very core of portuguese shoemaking. This has secured an incredible amount of “shoe know-how” and an access to innovative materials. The production site for our “Made in Portugal” shoes is lead by Paolo, who ensures a very clean and appropriate work environment. In Portugal, we mainly craft sustainable shoes and sneakers with natural cork from the portuguese cork oak, and recycled canvas from Spain. Our backpacks are also made in a small firm next to our portuguese shoe production. Here, a small team of around five sewers work with a high attention to detail to create our durable backpacks. The company is certified by PETA for only implementing vegan materials.

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