Production and Sustainability
Making a shoe starts with the cutting. The cutting mainly refers to the components for the upper part of the shoe, including the laces and straps.
In the shoe factory, there are cutting stations for manual cutting, mechanical cutting and laser cutting. Laser cutting is extremely precise and is used to cut the most delicate materials.
The rest of a shoe's components (lowers, soles, heels, and packaging materials) are already in the factory when cutting begins. This is very important because after cutting and stitching all these components are assembled into kits to stay together during assembly.
The stitching is the heart of a shoe factory and the most complicated and labor intensive part of shoe making.
This is where the upper part of the shoe is sewn together.
There are many sewing machines in the factory operated by skilled seamstresses. The machines are also different because each shoe model can have different types of seams.
At the end of the stitching process, it's time for the first quality check!
It's time to put the whole shoe together! An essential part is the shoe last, around which the whole shoe is designed. It is a foot-like form made of plastic, carved wood or cast aluminium.
Each shoe model has its own shoe last in all different shoe sizes. The shoe last is crucial because it determines the size, silhouette and outline of the shoe. Different shoe models can go through the assembly line at the same time. At the end of assembly, each shoe is cleaned and subjected to another quality check before being packed into the shoe box. Later, all shoe boxes are properly conditioned in transport boxes. Because soon there is a long journey ahead - to Germany. This is where we store all our shoes, waiting for you to fall in love with them.
You are wondering about waste management,
environmental protection or working conditions?
Our manufacturers have a waste management system and work according to the so-called "zero environmental impact" policy. Thanks to these measures, 95% of all production waste is recycled. The remaining small percentage that cannot be recycled is professionally disposed of.
A wonderful example of recycling is using the leftovers of some materials as cushioning between the insole and midsole, and then again between the midsole and outsole. This cushions the shoe so wonderfully and makes it so comfortable that you have the feeling of walking on clouds.
Why artificial leather?
We give preference to use only high-quality artificial leather and not real leather in our shoes, although sometimes you might find some models made of real leather. But this will always be explicitly mentioned for each product, so that you can buy according to your values. We have made this decision quite consciously. Nowadays, leather is not only produced as a by-product of slaughtering for meat. A considerable part of the world's slaughtering is now used exclusively for leather production, and we at Rio Martina want to avoid to be part of that at every chance we have. The enormous development in the field of faux leather and alternative materials in recent years, was for us the second decisive reason to go this way. High quality artificial leather, which is almost indistinguishable from real leather, has advantages in terms of shape and color, comfort, breathability and durability.
The result: a fabulous collection of shoes with a production process that is far removed from the horror stories that you sometimes hear from other countries. Child labour, deplorable working conditions, pollution or collapsing factories are not an issue in Brazil, where production is comparable to the standards and working conditions of European factories.
At the same time, we want to avoid as much as possible any animal suffering to offer you our high quality products.
ESG practices of the Brazilian footwear industry
Source: "Relatório Setorial da Indústria de Calçados 2022", by Abicalçados (in portuguese language)
Abicalçados is the Brazilian Footwear Industry Association.
Get to know also some highlights from Brazil
The emission of CO2 per USD of GDP is six times lower than in Vietnam, four times lower than in China, and twice lower than in Indonesia. (World Bank).
47.1% of Brazil's electricity consumption comes from renewable sources (wind, hydroelectric, solar, among others). In China, the use of renewable energy is only 13.1% (World Bank, 2018).