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.