Handmade at every step.
From our studio/shop in Bristol UK, Ollie & Lucy hand craft every pair of Ottowin shoes, boots and sandals. We use industry waste & locally tanned leather for all of our footwear. Supporting tradition tanning crafts & keeping precious materials away from landfill.
To be sustianble you have to build up from the basics.
Designing for longevity is most important first step to take. We desgin timeless footwear styles which you will want to wear today, tomorrow, next year & next decade. This is at the heart of slowing down - we dont create 6 seasons a year you will never recieve an email from us letting you know our High summer collection has launched or our Fading summer or Early autumn. Encoraging a change of wardrobe at this speed is the work of fast fashion, of a growth model which can never be sustainable.
Desing For Longevity.
Leather not plastic - and Industry waste leather as far as possible.
The most important component of our footwear and the starting place for our styles - we use rich, characterful, hardwaring leather hand picked in unique a tonal range that represents us.
We use leather in every part of our uppers from the parts you can see to the hiden sturcutural parts used to shape & stiffen at the toe and heal and insole to create a long lasting footbed. Using leather in this traditional way as apposed to the modern indursty standard of plastic & cardboard stiffeners & insoles means that our footwear will last longer and mold to your feet - vegetable tanned leather also has the benifit of being naturally antibacterial so combating bad odours is litterally built into our shoes.
Our Vegetable tanned leather is sourced from Thomas Wares a traditional vegetable tannery here in Bristol a bike ride away from our studio.
See a short film of the ancient tannery here.
For our Uppers we use industry waste leather for nearly all of our styles, the uppers of only 2 pairs in our collectoin a made from non-indursty waste leather. We source our indusrty waste leather from the stacks of waste produced by the Northampton shoe trade. We select only the best leather beaucse we physically hunt it out - every hide we use has been hand picked by us sometimes deep in the tallest stacks we spend a whole day seaching through mountains of leather to find a select few - choosing only 5 - 10 new hides per season.
This makes every colour we make a limited run as from each hide we can normally only cut 10 to 15 pairs out of each hide and once we have used a hide that colour has gone for good.
We work with a few different materials for soles of our shoes - this is one of the hardest parts to produce sustainably - as the properties so needed by a sole are so readily fullfilled by products like EVA and composite rubbers - all oil based materials.
There are two more sustaibable alternaives avalible to a small scale makers like us - leather soling or natural rubber. While we do use both these materials for our sandals and light boots - come winter niether material prodive the grip and water repellency of the oil based options.
We are working on a way of molding crepe (natural rubber) to produce a grippy sole but the material can still be slippy when wet so more experimentation is needed.
In the mean time we use Vibram soles a world leader in outdoor, hardwearing soles. And we can re-sole all of our footwear when the time comes.