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.