As a business with over 80 years under our belt, sustainability is at the heart of what we do. We’re not a flash in the pan, we intend to stick around, and surviving in this industry means adapting to changes and making sure we do what we can to stay ahead of the curve.
Over the past 30 years we’ve seen a dramatic rise in fast fashion and throwaway goods and the bottom line is that this can’t continue. We believe in quality because quality is what we built our name on and quality is the reason we’ve stood the test of time. That's why we put our 80 years experience of handcrafting shoes in to every pair we make, we want them to be a lifetime investment not just another addition to the rubbish heap after a few years.
But there’s more to the issue than fast fashion, not only do our products have to be sustainable but so do our practices. This is why we’re constantly assessing how we do things to see how else we can improve and do our part to keep our environmental impact low.
Locally SourcedA big part of our brand ethos is that we believe a shoe shouldn’t need to have traveled halfway across the world before ending up on your feet. This is why we work with local tanneries, printers and suppliers.
We source leather from the Leeds Tannery, Charles F Stead and Co Ltd, our FSC Certified shoeboxes and inserts are from Northhampton, our laces from a cotton mill in Manchester. This means we can support UK industry whilst also keeping our carbon footprint low.
Locally MadeSome ‘Made in England’ brands have parts of their product assembled overseas and then have the finishing touches done in England. We think this is misleading, so when we say Made in England, we mean it - every part of our process happens under one roof, our roof, in our Sheffield factory.
From us, to youOur stock is stored in the factory and in a warehouse just round the corner, orders are shipped directly from us to consumers. This means there’s no middle men and no unnecessary travel. It also means quality control happens right up to the moment the shoes are shipped out, keeping unnecessary returns low and making sure you receive a product that meets our standards.
A lot of time was spent during the design stage of our shoes making sure they are hard wearing and long lasting, but like anything in life our shoes aren’t indestructible. Wear and tear is to be expected but that doesn’t mean it has to be accepted.
Earlier this year we launched our REBUILD+ service that allows our customers to send their pair of Gorals back to the factory to have the re-lasted and re-soled. This not only makes them a better investment for our customers but also increases the lifespan of the shoes which is better for the planet and everyone on it.
Moving forwardWhile we’ve already done a lot to make Goral shoes a sustainable footwear option, we’re constantly coming up with new ways to improve.
Next year we’re moving towards a seasonless business model with a focus on Made to Order, this means no stock will be wasted between collections and we can offer more personalisation to our customers.
We’re also developing the first ever blake stitch sneaker, and once we've perfected the process we will roll this out across all of our shoes. This new way of joining the upper and insole increases durability, helps the shoes keep their shape over time and makes re-soleing easier and more efficient.
As the industry adapts so will we and we hope our efforts will encourage other brands to be more conscious of their decisions and practices.