At Flattered, we strive towards helping our customers keep themselves informed about what they buy and what they wear. The fashion industry is making big steps towards a more environmentally friendly future with the use of new and innovative materials. We are trying our best to work at the same speed. This guide has been developed to help you learn more about the materials we use, where they come from, how they were made, and why we use them.
At Flattered, we aim to work with the best possible sourced leathers. Therefore we buy leathers certified by the Leather Working Group. By doing that we ensure our materials stem from environmental best practices and performance in all areas of leather production, including chemical and water management, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, waste management and hide traceability.
Along with this effort, our wish is for our customers to treat their products with care. We think this combination is key to lengthening the shelf life of our products and sustaining our precious planet.
Read more about how best to care for your Flattered product here.
Our leather comes from the tanned rawhides of animals – most commonly cows, goats, or sheep – and is a by-product of the meat industry. We have committed to never using exotic skins due to their unacceptable risks regarding animal welfare. All products we produce with a reptile look- are cow leather that's been embossed and printed to look similar to exotic skins. Leather is sensitive to damage – the softer the leather the easier it may scratch. The tanning process is therefore essential – it preserves and strengthens the rawhide, as well as makes it supple and more pliable to work with. Below we will try to explain the differences in tanning processes that makes difference for both you, the people working with the leathers, and our environment. To make suede, the leather is split, removing the outer grain and leaving behind the soft inner surface, with its long fibers and smooth, velvety feel. However, since the inside of the hide is not as durable as the grain, suede is more susceptible to scratches and staining.
The most popular way of tanning leather. It is a very quick method and can produce a product in just days. The hides are dyed in acid, salt, chromium sulfate, and other chemicals. The leather is not biodegradable and not environmentally friendly (the process results in toxic wastewater that will negatively impact the environment)
Chrome-free leather is leather that has been manufactured without using chromium in the tanning process. This means less pollution, cleaner waste streams, and improved biodegradability. The characteristics are similar to that of chrome-tanned leather but with a less significant environmental footprint.
Vegan materials can be made out of pineapple leaves, mycelium, cork, apple peels, or other fruit waste, as well as recycled plastic. This material is often a lot thinner than real leather and far more lightweight. It is, therefore, less durable than leather and should be treated with extra care. It's important to note that most materials classified as “non-leather” aren’t necessarily eco-friendly. The most commonly used materials to create faux leather include polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU), which are plastic-based materials made out of fossil fuels. At Flattered, we continuously work towards entirely removing these types of materials from our offering.
Recycled cotton enables waste to be reused more effectively. Cotton can be recycled from post-consumer garments or pre-consumer industrial waste generated in garment production, such as yarn or excess fabric. Cotton waste is sorted by color and then shredded and blended into new fibers. The cotton fibers become shorter and weaker after recycling, so recycled cotton is often blended with a non-recycled fiber for strength. Because recycled cotton is not dyed, the amount of energy and water used in production is typically lower compared to regular cotton.
Recycled polyester production generates fewer CO2 emissions than virgin polyester, and doesn’t require new petroleum as a raw material. The process takes something previously treated as waste from pre-consumer sources such as fiber waste during the production of virgin polyester, or post-consumer sources like PET bottles – and gives it a new life. Polyester material consists of at least 50% recycled polyester fibers and is certified by the Global Recycling Standards (GRS). GRS aims to reduce production's harmful impact and to assure that materials used in the final product have been recycled and processed sustainably.
Recycled nylon has the same kind of benefits as recycled polyester: It diverts waste from landfills, and its production requires fewer resources than virgin nylon, which utilizes significant amounts of water, energy, and fossil fuel. The material comes from sources such as old carpets, leggings, or old fishing nets. This is a great solution for diverting garbage from landing up in the ocean.
EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam or resin is a light and flexible material used for padding in shoe production. EVA foam is considered eco-friendly because it is BPA (Bisphenol A) free and does not contain chlorides, heavy metals, phenols, latex, or other toxic substances. EVA foam products are soft, flexible, and resistant to chemical corrosion.
Cork is a natural material that has been used for over 5000 years. The material is obtained from the bark of a tree – the Cork Oak (Quercus suber L.) – a slow-growing, evergreen oak that flourishes only in specific regions of the Western Mediterranean (Portugal, Spain, southern France, parts of Italy, North Africa) and China. Cork is considered to be a renewable or sustainable material because harvesting it doesn't require the cutting down of any trees.
At Flattered, we offer boots with soles made from natural rubber. Natural rubber is created from the milk of the Hevea tree. Therefore, it is a renewable resource and helps the tree to flourish. Natural rubber is also easy to recycle & biodegradable.
Many of our shoes are fitted with a thunit outsole. Thunit is a type of resin rubber that lasts longer than regular soles made out of leather – so there's no need to replace or add an extra sole to reinforce your shoes after purchase.
Wool is a common natural fiber that is obtained mainly from sheep. It is renewable, recyclable, and – if not treated with chemicals – biodegradable. Wool is best known for its warming properties when it’s cold but is also temperature-regulating, helping stay cool when it’s warm. This is due to the structure of wool fibers which enables them to trap air and absorb moisture without becoming damp.
Many of our products are made with metal details. The metal we use is called Zamak. Zamak is part of the family of metal alloys, with a base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminum, magnesium, and copper. It is free from nickel and finished in an eco bath. The Zamak die-casting process disperses negligible emission levels into the air and water. Furthermore, production waste is recyclable and energy consumption is very low.