At AERA, we made a conscious decision to work solely with Italian materials suppliers and factories. Our decision was based on several factors: using materials sourced from Italy minimizes the transportation distance to the factories, and thus the transportation impacts on the environment. Italy is also a center of excellence in shoe manufacturing, and has been for centuries. Furthermore, we believe in supporting small, family-owned businesses; in a world of fast fashion and low-cost manufacturing, we want to support true artisans that focus on the quality of their products and the livelihood of their employees. We have ensured that the people working for our two factory partners and materials manufacturer not only make living wages, but are treated as family.
Located in Galta di Vigonovo, VP Shoes has just 20 employees. They have been hand-crafting shoes for over 40 years, and make most of our women’s shoes. Father and son owners Valter and Alessandro Poletto are like family to the people who work there. Alessandro is currently working on his graduation thesis on the sustainability of the footwear industry of Riviera del Brenta, and we at AERA are happy to be providing him with information about the environmental impacts of the shoes his company is making and what we are doing to offset them.
Calzaturificio Zilio Shoes
Located in Saonara, Zilio has just six employees, and has been hand-crafting shoes for over 35 years. Zilio makes our men’s shoes, as well as our genderfluid shoes. The owner, Roberto Zilio, has made significant changes to his operations in order to improve on its environmental metrics and is continuing to do so.
Meet the founders behind AERA.
Entrepreneur Alvertos Revach created Humble Holdings in 2016 as an investment vehicle for sustainable businesses. He envisions capitalism as a vehicle of positive change for all people and the planet and hopes that businesses will recognize environmental and social performance as a positive business case inherent in profit. He believes that businesses should take the lead in undoing the harm caused to the planet and its people by making sustainability the right and easy thing to do. Through AERA, Humble’s three principles, ‘Good for You, Good for People, Good for the Planet,’ are put into practice.
Fashion executive Tina Bhojwani has held key leadership roles at global brands including Donna Karan, Theory and Dolce & Gabbana. Throughout her 20-year career, she has seen the impact of fashion on people and the planet and recognizes the need for change not only as a business imperative but more importantly a deeply human one. She built AERA as a platform to address these environmental and social challenges, with the hope of making its practices the new normal in fashion. With AERA, she aspires to show consumers that style, design, and quality can be analogous with sustainability.
Designer Jean-Michel Cazabat has spent his career immersed in luxury footwear. He was the president of Stephane Kélian and the creative director of Charles Jourdan prior to launching his eponymous brand in 2000. The birth of his daughter Aria three years ago brought about a greater consciousness of the world and her future, and he began to think about a new project centered around sustainability. Jean-Michel’s tremendous experience as well as relationships with suppliers and factories allowed us to bring AERA to life.